Police: Census worker died from asphyxiation

It's a gruesome death that has grabbed national attention.

A Kentucky census worker, found hanged, with the word 'FED' scrawled on his chest.

The body of 51 year old Bill Sparkman was found earlier this month in Clay County.

Kentucky state police now say Sparkman died from asphyxiation.

His body was found on September 12, 2009 near a cemetery.

Police say Sparkman was found with a rope around his neck that was tied to a tree, but he was in contact with the ground.

Sparkman gathered statistics from people in several Eastern Kentucky counties.

It's a job that former state trooper and Johnson Elementary co worker Gilbert Acciardo said could be dangerous.

"I just know that it's a remote area, real rural and I just know from home visits, I know they can be deadly."

Acciardo says the job of a census worker is sometimes only seen as someone who works for the federal government.

"On occasion, I said, Bill, you be careful, when you go over there in eastern Kentucky, some of those people may not understand you're just collecting data."

Acciardo says he knew of Sparkman's census work in Lee and Owsley counties. But he says, and State Police reiterate, they don't know if Sparkman was actually collecting statistics at the time of his death.

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