by Rick Boone


AMADOR COUNTY (CBS13) — A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower was found shot to death in Amador County over the weekend, and contrary to previous reports, investigators haven’t classified his death as a suicide.

On Friday morning around 10 a.m., Philip Haney’s body was found in a park and ride open area immediately near State Highway 16 near State Highway 124 — about 40 miles east of Sacramento, according to the Amador County Sheriff’s Office.

“Everything we saw on-scene is consistent with somebody putting a gun to themselves and pulling the trigger,” said Amador County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Gary Redman. “We’re not making a statement that this was, in fact, suicide.”

Previous reports did indicate that it was a suicide but deputies haven’t made that determination yet.

“Every death that occurs in the county when it comes to something like this we treat and look at it as a homicide until we prove otherwise,” said Redman.

Authorities have requested help from the FBI to analyze documents, phone records, a laptop recovered from the scene, and from Haney’s RV. They’re also being asked to help analyze Haney’s vehicle, a firearm found at the scene, and Haney’s RV.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office is also scheduled to perform a forensic autopsy.

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Investigators have spoken with neighbors at the RV park where Haney lived, which is three miles away from where his body was found, and have looked for surveillance video that may have captured footage that could lead to clues in his death.

“We are currently in the beginning phase of our investigation and any final determination as to the cause and manner of Mr. Haney’s death would be extremely premature and inappropriate,” said Redman. “No determination will be made until all evidence is examined and analyzed.”

Haney was a former Department of Homeland Security officer. In 2016, he published a book titled “See Something, Say Nothing,” in which he claimed the Obama administration was not taking the threat of terrorism seriously.