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Sister questioning cause of death of IU student

Sister questioning cause of death of IU student
Posted at 2:17 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 00:04:49-05
INDIANAPOLIS -- The sister of an IU student found dead in a lake near campus last fall says Bloomington Police are not helping find out what really happened to her brother.
 
The Monroe County Coroner ruled Joseph Smedley's death a suicide by drowning.
 
But Vivianne Brown, his sister, is disputing that. She's hired her own forensic pathologist to investigate.
 
In formal complaint, Brown claims police are hindering the private investigation by not releasing case information.
 
 
 
"He can't continue his investigation without looking at circumstantial evidence and he's tried calling them and requesting photography and all that kind of stuff and they won't respond to him, they're not cooperating," said Brown.
 
 
Officials with the Bloomington Police Department say they are currently reviewing the complaint. They released this statement:
 
On December 3, 2015, the Bloomington Police Department and the Monroe County Coroner shared the findings of the investigation with Joseph Smedley's father who was determined to be the appropriate next of kin and established point of contact for the immediate family. BPD made the commitment to keep working with Joseph's father in an effort to answer additional questions they might have regarding the circumstances surrounding his death. That commitment has, in fact, continued with the most recent contact having occurred on January 11, 2016.
The Monroe County Coroner has ruled the death of Joseph Smedley to be a suicide by drowning. Rulings of cause and manner of death are the responsibility of Coroners and not that of law enforcement. While those conclusions can be determined through joint investigations between law enforcement and the Coroner, the Bloomington Police Department has not been asked to provide any further investigative assistance at this time.
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