A young U.S. engineer found dead in his Singapore flat last year had accessed several websites on suicide and depression, a lawyer for the city state told an official inquiry into his death.
The coroner's inquiry, which opened on Monday, comes after months of uncertainty over the fate of Shane Todd, who had been employed by a Singapore government research agency at the time of his death, aged 31.
He was found hanging from the bathroom door in his apartment in June, two days after he had left his job at the agency, the Institute of Microelectronics (IME). He had been working on the development of gallium nitride, a substance with both commercial and military uses.
An autopsy report submitted by the Singapore police found the death to be "asphyxia by hanging". His parents, Mary and Rick Todd, believe he was murdered and have said he raised concerns with them about the nature of his work.
Speaking after Monday's hearing adjourned, the Todds declined to say what effect, if any, the opening day of the inquiry had had on their view of Shane's death. Mr. Todd said: "We really appreciate the process that's going on here, the way Singapore conducts its court system."
During Monday's hearing, Tai Wei Shyong, the state counsel, released suicide notes addressed to his parents and girlfriend that had been found on a laptop by police the day they discovered his body.
In a detailed opening statement, Mr. Tai said searches on Shane's laptop revealed he had accessed several "suicide-related websites" and websites related to depression.
"The internet history on the laptop also shows that during the last few months of his life, several depression-related web pages were accessed," he told the inquiry.