Michael Hastings was hastily cremated against the wishes of his family, adding to the mystery surrounding the June 18 death of the Rolling Stone journalist.
Hastings died in a fiery early morning car crash, one that a growing number of conspiracy theorists say doesn't add up. Before his death Hastings was reportedly working on an expose on the CIA and just hours before his death he wrote an email to close friends saying he believed he was under FBI investigation and fearful.
This week, Hastings' friend SSgt. Joe Biggs said authorities cremated Hastings without permission from the family. Reports said that Hastings was so badly burned in the crash that it took days for a positive identification.
"Michael Hastings' body was returned to Vermont in an urn," Biggs said, adding, "Family members did not want Michael's body cremated."
Accounts of the death of Michael Hastings have fueled many conspiracy theories. Eyewitnesses said just before the crash they heard an explosion that sounded like a bomb going off.
Richard Clarke, a former State Department official and adviser to several United States presidents, said the crash looked to be consistent with what he termed a "car cyberattack," one orchestrated by a computer to seize control of the car.
"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."
Biggs said he will continue to investigate the death of his friend.
"This wasn't an accident and I will continue to investigate his death," he said of friend Michael Hastings.