WASHINGTON – A top Democratic National Committee official has contacted Washington, D.C., police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich demanding to know why a homicide detective is examining the unsolved case, a private investigator told WND Tuesday.
Detective Rod Wheeler, who started his investigation into Seth’s death in March, told WND he was stunned Monday when he learned from Rich’s family that the DNC contacted them about the case.
“How did that DNC person know I had called the police? That is what is baffling me,” Wheeler said. “I just found out from [Rich’s] family that the DNC knew I contacted the police – they hadn’t told me that all this time.”
After Wheeler went to the police for insight into Rich’s murder, the detective assigned to the investigation never replied to Wheeler’s inquiry.
“The family said, ‘Rod, there is something that you need to know,” Wheeler explained. “The police detective never called you back because the information was given to the DNC that you called the police trying to figure out what was going on.”
Wheeler, who began working as a homicide detective in 1989, said he is perturbed by the odd reaction the police have when he approaches them with questions about Rich.
Cops in Washington, D.C., he said, suspiciously respond to his inquiries about Rich’s murder with an ominous “blank stare.”
“It’s a blank stare – it’s scary,” he said. “I’m getting nothing from police, just nothing.”
A federal investigator, who remains anonymous, claims to have proof that Rich sent thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. After learning about the investigator’s evidence, Wheeler notified Washington’s police chief in an attempt to inform law enforcement of the revelations before they became publicized by media.
But the response of the police chief – whom Wheeler knows well and characterized as a “very good guy” – unnerved the veteran homicide detective.
“I wanted to share what I heard with the chief and the senior officials at the police department because I knew Fox News was going to run this story, and I thought it was only fair that I tell the police what we got before this hits the media,” he said. “I shared it with the police last week. And you know what they said? Nothing. They didn’t say, ‘Rod, don’t go with it. Rod, let’s talk about it’ – blank stares.”
“I can’t figure it out,” he continued. “Typically, and what I was hoping, they’d say is, ‘Let us check into this before you go with the story’ and thank me for bringing them that information.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Rich’s family repudiated the notion that the leaked DNC emails have anything to do with the reason the DNC staffer was killed. Brad Bauman, a professional Democratic Party crisis public-relation... and the family’s spokesman, released a statement denying the report that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks. The statement condemned what the family sees as an attempt to politicize Rich’s death.
“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers,” the statement said. “The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was [sic] offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and [Wheeler] contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”
In an interview with Business Insider, Bauman blasted the media for suggesting a DNC connection to Rich’s conspicuously timed death.
“It’s sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda,” Bauman said. “I think there is a special place in hell for people like that.”
Detective Wheeler said Rich’s parents seem genuinely concerned about finding out who murdered their son. However, he believes their disregard for the possibility that Rich’s death may be related to leaked emails and his line of work at the DNC is alarmingly conspicuous.
“Seth’s brother said to me, ‘Rod, we do not want you to look at this aspect of the emails.’ And I asked him, ‘Do you want the case solved? You cannot tell a detective, ‘Don’t look at certain things.’ [If] you want to solve the case, that
detective is going to look at everything.”
Wheeler continued: “I don’t know the reason why they pushed back so much on the whole idea of the emails. I think they may think that if that information gets out, it may taint Seth’s legacy. I am just speculating. Why would they even care? As long as the bad guy is caught, does it matter how it happens?
“I don’t know what the reason is; it’s peculiar. If it were my loved one, I wouldn’t care about the legacy. Let’s catch the bad guy. We’ll worry about the legacy later.”