Foster Eyewitness Ignored by Chris Ruddy Pittsburg Tribune-Review 6/14/95 A couple present at Ft. Marcy Park on the evening of the Vincent Foster's death told the FBI last year that at least two individuals were in or around the White House aide's car shortly before his body was found. The witness statements, which they claim were incorrectly recorded by the U.S. Park police, "were completely ignored' by the staff of the Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr said. With the resignation of Associate Whitewater Counsel Miguel Rodriguez in March, Starr's staff has apparently also chosen not to re-investigate the matter. The witness statements add to the several dozen inconsistencies and discrepancies in the suicide ruling, homicide experts say. FIRST SIGHTINGS Foster's body was found in the Civil War roadside park shortly after 6p.m. July 20, 1993--approximately five hours after he had left the White House West Wing. No one saw him alive, as far as authorities are concerned, from the time he passed a Secret Service checkpoint at 1 p.m. that fateful afternoon until his lifeless body was discovered at Ft. Marcy. According to one FBI report: The first firm sighting of his car was approximately 4:30 p.m., by a motorist who entered the small parking lot off the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The motorist noted a Honda with Arkansas plates in one of the first spots in the lot, fitting the location and description of Foster's car. He also observed another ca, probably of Japanese make, parked several spots past Foster's car. The car was occupied by an individual described as male in his late 20's probably Mexican or Cuban, with a dark complexion. When the motorist left his car to urinate in nearby woods, he said the male occupant left his car and followed him, making the motorist "feel extremely nervous and uneasy." The motorist quickly relieved himself and left. KEY STATEMENTS Shortly after 5p.m. a couple who have sought to keep their identities secret drove up to the park to enjoy a late picnic. Both told Fiske's FBI investigators just over a year ago that when they entered the parking lot there was only one car parked in the lot, and their descriptions are generally consistent with Foster's 1989 Honda and its placement in the lot. The female visitor told the FBI she believed that "a white male was seated in the driver's seat' of the vehicle. She said he had dark hair and "could have been bare chested." As the driver of the car, she had an unobstructed view of Foster's car. which was parked to her immediate left. Her male companion told the FBI that he remembered the hood of the vehicle was up and a white male was standing near the hood of Foster's car. He was described as "mid to late 40s, approximately 6 feet in height, medium build, long blonde hair and beard, appeared unclean and unkept." The male witness said he saw the unkept man standing near Foster's car after the had backed into the parking spot, giving him a clear view of Foster's car to his right The couple said they sat in their car until about 6 p.m., and then exited the car to have their picnic. They first learned of a problem, they said, when emergency workers stumbled upon them during a search for the body shortly after 6 p.m. The park police report gives a decidedly different representation of their accounts. The scene investigation report, prepared by plainclothes investigator Cheryl Brum, contains the only witness statements of persons found in the park after police arrived. That report cites the couple as having observed "a small car with a man without a shirt sitting in it' who the couple was quoted as saying "left shortly after their arrival." The man with the long blond hair who had the hood raised is described in this way: "The final vehicle the observed was a light colored older model that pulled in next to the deceased vehicle." The driver then pulled his hood up, went into the woods for a short time and then left. After being shown the park police statement of her account, the female witness told the FBI that the police statement was not true, and did not match her recollection of what she had told them. The police statement implies that two cars, in addition to Foster's Honda, were observed by the couple, who saw persons either in a car or with the hood up. The FBI witness statements make clear that the male and female both saw only one car, apparently Foster's, and individuals in or around it. In two interviews this year, the female told the Tribune-review that she stood by her account to the FBI, which she said is consistent with her male friend's statement of seeing only one car in the parking lot. The only other vehicle that parked in the lot while they were there was a white utility van. Fiske's investigators concluded the van driver was the first person to find Foster's body. The female witness stated she has never been contacted by anyone on Starr's staff, nor has she or her friend been summoned before a grand jury. A spokesman for the park police, Maj. Robert Hines, said Officer Braum was not available for comment on the case. He added that the park police stood by her report and police report. STATEMENTS OVERLOOKED Fiske's 58-page report makes no mention of the witness statements, which were part of his investigation and released by the Senate Banking Committee this year. According to a source close to the investigation, Rodriguez believed the witness statements were supportive of evidence Foster's body had been transported to the park. No time has ever been nailed down for Foster's death, and the Fiske report concludes death could have occurred from the time Foster left the White House up until the time the body was found.
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