Authorities Say Foul Play is Not Suspected in Death of Malcolm Harsch Found Hanging From a Tree in Victorville

Ameera Butt
June 14, 2020 - 9:51 am

    Authorities are still investigating the death of a 38-year-old man who was found hanging from a tree near a library in San Bernardino County.

    Malcolm Harsch was found hanging from a tree near the Victorville City Library on May 31, according to the Victor Valley News, but his family has said in a statement released Saturday that suicide didn't seem plausible.

    The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department has said that foul play is not suspected in Harsch's death, according to the Victor Valley News. The sheriff's department told the paper it is still an active investigation.

    This is the second time an investigation is happening into a case of a black man found hanging in a tree. Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale last week and was initially ruled a suicide by authorities but after protests by community members and the family calling for an independent autopsy, that case is also going to be investigated. 

    According to ABC News via the Associated Press,  "A sheriff's spokeswoman, Jodi Miller, told Victor Valley News foul play was not suspected in Harsch's death but the man's family said they were concerned it will be ruled a suicide to avoid further attention."

    The ABC News story reported that the family gave a statement to the Victor Valley News which said: "a few people who were at the scene told them there was blood on his shirt but no indication of a struggle. They said Harsch didn't seem to be depressed and had recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon."

    “The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the statement said in the story. "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. We want justice not comfortable excuses.”

    Read the family's full statement here: