An African-American man was found dead, hanging from a tree in Victorville, California, MTO News has learned.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says they found the body of Malcolm Harsch on May 31 near a homeless encampment.
Police say foul play is not suspected, but the cause and manner of death are under investigation.
The Victorville Fire Department discovered Harsch’s body May 31 after receiving a dispatch call around 7 a.m., officials said. When firefighters arrived at the library, they found Harsch hanging from a nearby tree.
Less than 40 miles away, in Palmdale, Ca another 24-year-old Black man named Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree. Police quickly called his death a suicide also.
Harsch’s family in Ohio doesn’t believe that his death was a suicide. According to the family, Harsch had recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon and that he did not seem to be depressed to anyone who knew him.
The family also said they were told that Harsch, at 6 foot 3, wasn’t dangling from the tree and that there was blood on his shirt. They also noted that his body sat at the San Bernardino County coroner’s office for 12 days before an autopsy was performed.
“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the family wrote. “There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now.