Some Believe Recent Deaths are Part of a Flint Water Crisis Cover-Up
People die in Flint every day, but the deaths of three people connected to the Flint Water Crisis have some saying it's part of a cover-up. Is there any weight to those claims?
Within days of each other, three residents linked to the Flint water crisis turned up dead, one murdered and the other under mysterious circumstances. The proximity of the two deadly incidents, and their victim's connections to the crisis have locals and several national media outlets alleging that something deeply sinister may be afoot.
Here are the Facts
The first death was that of 43-year-old Flint Water Treatment Plant Foreman Matthew McFarland on Saturday, April 16. According to the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department, he was found unresponsive by a friend at his Otter Lake home. There were no signs of foul play, and his autopsy did not reveal a cause of death either, so authorities are awaiting a toxicology report.
The second and third deaths were those of 19-year-olds Sasha Avonna Bell and Sacorya Renee Reed, who were both murdered at Bell's apartment on April 19th. Bell was one of the first to file a lawsuit in the Flint water crisis, claiming that her child had been lead poisoned by the city. Bell's 1-year-old child was discovered unharmed in the apartment when police arrived on the scene. An 18-year-old Flint man, Malek Emmanuel Thornton, has been arrested in connection with the double homicide and is facing two counts of first degree murder.
Here's What People are Saying
McFarland worked at the Flint water department, and was reportedly wanted for questioning in the ongoing investigation. Yes, the investigation is still ongoing and has only resulted in three people being charged thus far, all of which were announced on April 20th. Did McFarland have some information that would've been pertinent in the ongoing investigation? Did he have definitive proof that someone knowingly exposed Flint to unsafe water? This is all speculation -- but these are exactly the kinds of questions being asked in the local and national media.
Bell's lawsuit was against six companies and three government employees (both former and current) in connection to the Flint water crisis. There isn't much mystery as to how or why people are questioning the truth behind Bell's murder. Had McFarland not passed under suspicious circumstances just days earlier -- maybe it wouldn't seem so bizarre... but he did and it does seem like an extremely unusual coincidence.
On the other side of the coin -- this is Flint, Michigan. People die here everyday, and the murder rate here is often among the highest in the country. Yes, there are dots that can be connected between the recently deceased and the Flint water crisis, but you find me one person in Flint that isn't connected to the Flint water crisis in some way. Go ahead -- I'll wait.
I'm not saying I believe that the recent deaths are part of a cover-up, but I won't say it is untrue either. If there is one thing that has been made evident throughout this ordeal -- it's that nobody is owning up to anything, and people very high up the totem pole are, at the very minimum, partially responsible. There's been so much finger pointing it seems unlikely that the full truth will ever come out. I am, however, saying that I don't trust any government employee testifying in this crisis. Everybody is going into C.Y.A. (cover your ass) mode. I am saying I don't know if this is a cover-up, but I do believe that some very powerful people stand to lose a lot if their actions in the Flint water crisis were brought to light. And I am saying it is believable that they would kill to keep those actions in the shadows.
All of the questions about these deaths may turn out to have no basis in reality, but they are still questions that are worth asking.
Editor's Note: We understand that the families of the deceased who are mentioned in this article are still grieving and we are deeply sorry for their loss. Our intention here is not to tarnish anyone's name, but simply to address the ongoing discussion being conducted by our community, as well as the national media. Whether that discussion is based in fact, paranoia, or just an overall lack of trust for state and local government is yet to be determined. We mean no disrespect to those whose lives were lost.