Police investigation concludes Boeing whistleblower took his own life

A police investigation into a former Boeing manager who raised questions about safety at the company and was found dead after giving depositions concluded Friday, with law enforcement saying their findings point to the manager having taken his own life.

John Barnett, 62, was found dead on March 9. He was a longtime Boeing quality-control manager until he retired in 2017.

Since retiring, Barnett shared his concerns about Boeing with reporters. He shared details about the manufacturing process, and things employees or the company did that could cause wiring or oxygen issues on the aircraft, The Associated Press reported.

He was in Charleston, S.C., answering questions for depositions when he was found dead. His death caused controversy since it came after his whistleblower complaint, but police said his injuries were self-inflicted.

More than 25,000 people signed a petition calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Barnett’s death, along with the death of Joshua Dean, another Boeing whistleblower, who died after contracting a bacterial infection.

“John was deeply concerned about the safety of the aircraft and flying public, and had identified some serious defects that he felt were not adequately addressed,” his brother, Rodney, said in a family statement after his death. “He said that Boeing had a culture of concealment and was putting profits over safety.”

Boeing said in a statement that it is “saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing” and their thoughts are with his family and friends.

Boeing has denied Barnett’s claims, but his allegations come as the company is facing increased scrutiny following a series of mishaps, including a door panel blowing off mid-flight.

The Associated Press contributed.

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