Det. Sean Suiter was shot on November 15 and died on day later. No arrests have been made in the murder. Photo by Baltimore Police Department
Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The FBI refused a request from the Baltimore Police Department to investigate the murder of a detective who was killed one day before he was scheduled to speak to federal agents conducting a probe into allegedly corrupt police officers.
In a letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun, FBI Assistant Director Stephen E. Richardson told Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis that it had no evidence to suggest Det. Sean Suiter's death was "directly connected" to the police corruption probe.
"For this reason, we believe it prudent for your office to continue as the lead in this investigation, with our current commitment to assist and support you fully, including providing FBI analytical, forensic, and investigative support," Richardson wrote.
Richardson said the FBI will continue to offer analytical, forensic and investigative support, as well as a $25,000 towards the total reward "for information leading to the arrest of anyone who may have been involved in this matter," ABC News reported.
Davis said that he took the "unusual step" in asking the FBI to lead the murder investigation because of suspicions that other Baltimore police officers might have been involved, due to the timing of the murder one day before the scheduled testimony.
But Davis said the FBI's decision to not lead the investigation suggested there's no evidence to suspect other police officers were involved.
"If Detective Suiter's pending testimony was somehow a factor in his death, I believe the FBI would have taken [the case] in a heartbeat, and I believe they would have taken it in grand style. I think they would have brought in every resource at their disposal to Baltimore to get to the bottom of it," Davis said. "The fact that they didn't tells me that they don't believe it."
Davis also said there was "zero evidence" suicide was an explanation for Suiter's death.
Suiter, a 43-year-old father of five who served on the BPD for 18 years, was shot in the head on Nov. 15 and died one day later.
Suiter was scheduled to testify in front of a federal grand jury on Nov. 17 involving seven Baltimore police officers who were charged for racketeering, fraud, robbery of criminal suspects and other crimes.
No arrests have been made in the murder.