"It's strange Darren's death was not known to us ..."
One of the more startling revelations and subsequent developments happened nearly one year after my son’s killing. In April of 2006, I attended a conference for the Association for Death Education and Counseling, where the keynote speaker was a senior official from the FBI’s Office of Victims Assistance, who stated that it was standard operating procedure for the FBI to be notified of any suspicious death of an American abroad and the FBI would have an autopsy performed and handle of the case accordingly. I spoke with the official at that conference and corresponded by email shortly thereafter.
Email to me on April 13, 2006: “Thank you so much for sending all the information about Darren and the circumstances surrounding his death. I was mistaken in thinking I had seen information about Darren – it was another death in China. I have forwarded your information to the substantive section here that handles matters related to China and they are reviewing it and making inquiries. They have involved our office in China. It is somewhat surprising that Darren’s death was not known to us. I can’t make any promises about what can be done, but you can be assured that we are taking it seriously.”
Three months later on July 16, the same official wrote: “I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I have been on travel and am leaving again today. Please understand that although the Embassy did not notify the FBI of your son’s death, they are not impeding the FBI from doing an investigation. The government of China severely limits the ability of the Bureau to investigate within their borders. We would do more if we could. Some countries are more accommodating, some are less. I know this doesn’t help you learn what happened to your son, but it is the current reality. I hope it will change in the future.”
Two weeks after that, my congressman was notified by the FBI that it would not investigate the matter, and that all of my questions and concerns would have to be directed to the Department of State.
Why didn’t the embassy or consulate notify the FBI of my son’s death? And did they or did they not do any kind of investigation?