ST. LOUIS (AP) — Investigators are closing their probe into former Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich's suicide after failing to find an explanation for why the Republican gubernatorial hopeful took his life, a suburban St. Louis detective said Tuesday.
Schweich's work computers in St. Louis and Jefferson City turned up no evidence of scandal, extramarital affairs of a "whisper campaign" that Schweich privately had anguished was being waged against his bid to become governor in 2016 by the state's GOP chief, Clayton Police Detective Lt. Don Bass told The Associated Press.
Investigators had hoped the forensic examination of the computers — the investigation's last thread — would produce clues about why Schweich's killed himself Feb. 26 in his Clayton home. But Bass said Schweich's St. Louis computer had not been used since 2013, predating his pursuit of the GOP nomination for governor, and the Jefferson City computer uncovered nothing meaningful, Bass said.
Lab testing confirmed that Schweich was the person who fired the handgun found beneath his body in his bedroom.
"I don't think anybody will ever know" exactly why Schweich took his life, Bass said, estimating detectives spent more than 100 hours on the case. "We're going to be shutting (the investigation) down. We did not find anything."
Police have said that Schweich had talked for years of taking his life — and had become increasingly agitated over politics — but left no suicide note when he killed himself.
Schweich had told an AP reporter by phone minutes before his death that he was ready to go public with allegations that the state Republican Party chairman, John Hancock, told donors that Schweich was Jewish. Schweich was Christian but had Jewish ancestry and perceived the remarks as anti-Semitism.
Hancock has denied engaging in a whisper campaign.
Police investigative reports show that friends and political advisers had discouraged Schweich from publicizing his concerns about the supposed whisper campaign, and that Schweich felt so abandoned by GOP supporters that he told an aide on the day of his suicide that he would have to either "run as an independent or he needed to kill himself."
A month after Schweich's death, his former spokesman, Spence Jackson, also fatally shot himself after leaving a note insisting that he was concerned about becoming unemployed.