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Witness Says Census Worker Was Naked, Bound

September 25, 2009
Witness Says Census Worker Was Naked, Bound

Filed at 11:26 p.m. ET

BIG CREEK, Ky. (AP) -- A part-time census worker found hanging in a rural Kentucky cemetery was naked, gagged and had his hands and feet bound with duct tape, said an Ohio man who discovered the body two weeks ago.

The word ''fed'' was written in felt-tip pen on 51-year-old Bill Sparkman's chest, but authorities have released very few other details in the case, such as whether they think it was an accident, suicide or homicide.

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was certain from the gruesome scene that someone killed Sparkman.

''He was murdered,'' Weaver said. ''There's no doubt.''

Weaver said he was in the rural Kentucky county for a family reunion and was visiting some family graves at the cemetery on Sept. 12 along with his wife and daughter when they saw the body.

''The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,'' Weaver said. ''And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.''


''And they even had duct tape around his neck,'' Weaver said. ''And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.''

Authorities have refused to say if Sparkman was at work going to door-to-door for census surveys before he died.

Both of the people briefed on the investigation confirmed Sparkman's Census Bureau ID was found taped to his head and shoulder area. Weaver said he couldn't tell if the tag was a Census ID because he didn't get close enough to read it. He could see writing on Sparkman's chest, and could read that it said ''fed.''


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