Longtime DHS official found dead of gunshot in California
PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) — A former Department of Homeland Security official and self-described whistleblower was found dead last week in Northern California, authorities said.
Philip Haney, 66, was found dead with a single gunshot wound Friday near the city of Plymouth, according to two news releases from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office.
In an initial release Saturday, the sheriff’s office reported that Haney “was deceased and appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound,” and that a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle, the Sacramento Bee reported.
But in an update Monday, the sheriff’s office said “misinformation” was circulating that the death had been ruled a suicide, when no such determination has been officially made. This second news release did not include a reference to the gunshot wound as being “self-inflicted.”
Monday’s updated statement gave further details on Haney’s death, saying his body was found in an open RV park-and-ride area “immediately adjacent” to Highway 16, less than 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from where he had been living. A Facebook profile for Haney says he lived in Plymouth, a town of about 1,000 people.
A DHS officer for 15 years, Haney published a book in 2016 titled “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” which alleged inaction against terrorism on the part of President Barack Obama’s administration.
Detectives recovered documents, phone records and a laptop from the scene, according to Monday’s news release, and the Sheriff’s Office took possession of Haney’s vehicle, a gun located at the scene, and his RV to be processed and analyzed along with the evidence. The authorities also have asked the FBI for assistance, the release noted.
Investigators canvassed the area, interviewed RV park neighbors and checked nearby areas for potential surveillance video, the news release said.