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FBI returns notes to Colonial Parkway whistleblower

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 20, 2010
and last updated 2012-03-01 11:50:44-05

Last week it was revealed that the man who exposed the FBI's leak of Colonial Parkway crime-scene photos is also on the FBI's list of suspects.

He told NewsChannel 3 authorities took his notes and refused to give them back.

"It's been three months now. I want my books back, and I can't get nobody to return my calls."

That's what Fred Atwell said last week. Atwell said he was summoned in January to a meeting with federal agents and state police investigators. In that meeting, according to Atwell, they asked to borrow his notes, to make copies. Atwell agreed. But he says, months passed and no one returned his notebooks. He says they began looking at him as a murder suspect.

"I didn't do it. They can come get my DNA any time they want it. I will be glad to give it to them. I don't have a problem with that. I have nothing to hide about the Parkway."

After NewsChannel 3's story aired, the FBI's top local agent, Alex J. Turner, said he would look into Atwell's claims. Later, an FBI spokeswoman said there had been a misunderstanding, that agents thought Atwell was giving them his notes. Atwell denies that, but either way, FBI and state police returned his papers after our story aired.

Atwell also says he insisted agents take a DNA sample and fingerprints from him, so he can be erased from the list of suspects.

Atwell says agents treated him cordially in their meeting, and told him they didn't need his DNA or fingerprints. Atwell pressed anyway because he wants to be cleared of any suspicion.