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Singapore inquest rules American killed himself

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July 7, 2013 10:39 PM EST | AP

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SINGAPORE — A Singaporean judge ruled Monday that an American engineer who was found dead in his apartment last year killed himself, rejecting suspicions by the man's parents that he was murdered because of research into sensitive technology.

The inquest into Shane Truman Todd's death has been criticized by Todd's parents, who walked out of hearings earlier this year, saying they had lost faith in the process.

Todd's body was found in his Singapore apartment by his girlfriend in June 2012. State counsel presented evidence of links to suicide websites on the 31-year-old's laptop and suicide letters written to family members and loved ones.

Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said Monday he found no evidence of foul play, ruling that Todd "committed suicide by hanging himself."

Chay recorded the official cause of death as "asphyxia due to hanging" and voiced hopes that Todd's family and loved ones would be able to find closure.

Todd's parents have said they believe he may have been murdered over his research in the U.S. into material used to make technology with both civilian and military applications.

Todd's father, Rick, left Singapore with his wife, Mary, in May before the inquest ended. He told The Associated Press last week that the family no longer trusts Singapore's legal system.

"It was apparent that the state was only interested in proving suicide and that was why we left," Todd wrote in an email. "They never interviewed us and it became obvious from the court that they never investigated the possibility of murder."