Conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in 2016, are spreading around social media. However, his parents and D.C. police say there’s no substance to all the speculation.
Rich was murdered in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington nearly a year ago. Police believe it was a botched robbery.
The conspiracy theories blew up again with a Fox News report suggesting Rich had been leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks before he was murdered.
The story comes from Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. police employee who’s also a Fox News analyst and part-time private investigator. Metropolitan Police said they fired him in 1995. They're still trying to figure out if he was ever a detective.
Wheeler claimed a source inside the police department told him officers were ordered to “stand down” their investigation.
MPD flat out denied the claim.
In an email, the department said the Homicide Branch is “actively investigating” Rich’s murder and that it “continues to work with the family to bring closure to this case.”
But the police response hasn’t stopped the feverish speculation online.
On Twitter, people are suggesting it was Rich and not the Russians who leaked Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails and that John Podesta—her campaign manager—or Clinton herself ordered him murdered.
Rich’s parents have rejected the conspiracy theories.
“We are a family committed to the facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract,” they said in a statement.
Online people also are suggesting the FBI is checking out the rumored Wikileaks connection, but the agency told WUSA9 this is an MPD case, pure and simple.