Robert Fuller’s body was found in Palmdale on the morning of June 10. There was no sign of a fight and no sign that he had attempted to remove the rope from his neck, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Said Chris Marks.
The move came after an “in-depth” investigation with the California Department of Justice and the FBI, Sheriff officials said on Thursday at a press conference.
Only the rope, the contents of his pockets and a backpack he was carrying were found at the scene, said captain of the Los Angeles County homicide Kent Wegener last month.
Fuller died 10 days after another black man, Malcolm Harsch, was found suspended in Victorville, about 80 km from Palmdale. The deaths have raised suspicions of foul play.
The rope used to suspend Fuller was attached directly to the branches, “indicating that the victim was not hoisted into this position,” said Marks.
Sheriff’s officials said Fuller bought the rope from a Dollar Tree store on May 14.
Investigators identified a purchase of a red cord that was consistent with that used in the suspension from one purchased using an EBT card registered with Fuller.
There was no surveillance video of this store as it was a month before Fuller’s death, although investigators were able to find another surveillance video of Fuller shopping with the same EBT card.
Fuller, said the sheriff’s manager, had a history of mental health issues and had been hospitalized in recent years for suicidal thoughts and depression.
CNN Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.