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BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US census worker hanging probed
US police are investigating the death of a man who was found hanged from a tree in rural Kentucky with the word "Fed" scrawled on his chest.
Bill Sparkman, 51, had been going door-to-door in Clay County collecting census data.
The FBI is investigating whether Mr Sparkman was victim of anti-government sentiment.
The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in the area until the investigation is complete.
"Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government'. I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there," said Gilbert Acciardo, a retired policeman who knew Mr Sparkman, and had warned him to "be careful" when carrying out the census.
The part-time census worker (Bill Sparkman) found hanging from a tree in a rural Kentucky cemetery was naked, his hands and feet bound with duct tape, a witness told the Associated Press on Friday.Census Worker Found Gagged, Bound, Nude - ABC News
Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, said Bill Sparkman, 51, was gagged and had duct tape over his eyes and neck. Something resembling an identification tag was taped to his neck, he reported.
Weaver said he was in the area for a family reunion when he and other relatives came upon Sparkman's body on Sept. 12 in Daniel Boone National Forest.
Sparkman's truck was found nearby with his computer still inside.
"His tailgate was down," Weaver told the AP. "I thought he could have been killed somewhere else and brought there and hanged up for display, or they actually could have killed him right there. It was a bad, bad scene."
Sparkman's body was found with the word "Fed" scrawled in his chest.