A former Boca Raton high school athlete and science standout killed himself by hanging last year -- and was not murdered, a Singapore coroner ruled yesterday.
The ruling sided against Todd's parents, who say their son, an engineer working in Singapore, had been killed after working on highly secretive materials. The back-and-forth had at one time threatened to create a diplomatic row between the U.S. and Singapore.
Todd, 31, who held a PhD in electrical engineering, died last June of "asphyxia by hanging," and there was no "foul play involved in the deceased death," a district judge ruled after two weeks of witness testimony, Reuters reported.
At a time when Americans are highly distrustful of any government narrative, the Todd family maintains their son was killed only after he worked on a project involving an advanced material called gallium nitride (GaN), which could be used for military purposes.
According to the parents' website justice4shanetodd.com, they believe Todd was murdered because that project involved a Chinese telecoms equipment titan called Huawei Technologies.
"From our own interactions with the police and coroner we have personally concluded that a staged suicide in Singapore will never be examined or ruled as murder no matter what signs there are of foul play," the parents said in a statement. "We wonder why the state was so unwilling to pursue an investigation of anything other than suicide while doing everything it could to suppress the evidence that pointed to the probability of murder."
In their allegations of a cover-up, the Todd family cites that there was never a medical examination of the body to ascertain whether Todd's neck had been broken when he'd hanged.
They said the work Todd had been doing had directly led to his murder, though the ruling judge in Singapore disagreed.
"[Todd] was not in possession of confidential and valuable classified information in the course of his employment," Chay Yuen Fatt said.