Lead Levels Elevated in Drinking Water Across Country

Woman Leading Flint Water Lawsuits Against Government Found Murdered Days After Water Plant Foreman Dies Suspiciously

Sasha Bell, the first person to file a lawsuit against the government in connection to the Flint water crisis, was found murdered alongside a second victim on April 19, 2016. The 19-year-old mother was the first to file a lawsuit against the government after claiming her 1-year-old son suffered from lead poisoning due to the contaminated water supply in the city. There are now 64 active lawsuits against Flint following Bell’s initial claim, but Bell will not be able to testify in the high-profile case as she was found shot to death in a Flint townhouse on Tuesday.

Michigan Live reports that 19-year-old Sasha Bell was found shot to death alongside another young woman, Sacorya Renee Reed. The women were found deceased in a Flint townhouse while a 1-year-old child was found unharmed in the residence. Bell had a 1-year-old son who was the subject of her lawsuit against Flint. The young mother claimed that the contaminated water in Flint caused her son to get lead poisoning and she was the first to bring forward a lawsuit against the government on behalf of her son. Following Bell’s initial filing, 64 other families joined the charge and legal teams are now representing 144 children.

Police would not confirm if the 1-year-old child found unharmed inside the townhouse was Bell’s child, but claim that the young woman’s parents have been charged with the baby’s care. Bell’s lawyer Corey M. Stern says Bell’s death is “tragic and senseless,” but notes he will continue to fight for Bell’s young son by continuing on with the lawsuit. Stern notes that the child will be appointed a new representative in the case and that the lawsuit will move forward. Therefore, Bell’s efforts will not be forgotten.

“Sasha was a lovely young woman who cared deeply for her family, and especially for her young child. Her tragic and senseless death has created a void in the lives of so many people that loved her. Hopefully, her child will be lifted up by the love and support from everyone who cared deeply for Sasha.”

In regards to the Flint water crisis lawsuits, Stern says they will push forward with all 64 lawsuits against the government, which they believe knew about the Flint water crisis but did nothing. In addition to the three government employees that attorneys say “played a significant role in the misconduct,” the lawsuit also named six companies that had various responsibilities with respect to the treatment, monitoring, and safety of the Flint water prior to and during the Flint water crisis. The lawsuit claims that these government officials and businesses were responsible for poisoning thousands of children in Flint and must be held responsible.

Police have not revealed who may be responsible for the murder of Sasha Bell and Sacorya Reed; however, they claim that a suspect is in custody for questioning. Currently no charges have been filed against the suspect.

While police are investigating Sasha Bell’s death, they are also looking into the death of 43-year-old Matthew McFarland who was found dead under suspicious circumstances. McFarland, a Flint Water Treatment Plant foreman, was found dead on April 16, 2016, in his Otter Lake home. The death was deemed “suspicious,” but no cause of death was revealed to the public. No arrests have been made in relation to the McFarland death at this time.

[Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP Images]