Prominent leaders of the so-called "birther" movement pounced Thursday on news that Hawaii State Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy died after a Wednesday plane crash.
Fuddy approved the release of President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate in 2011, after the president requested the document. Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, toying with the idea of running for president, had aggressively toured the country demanding its release.
Obama's decision to release his birth certificate deprived the "birther" movement of its key demand, but didn't kill the skepticism of some political opponents.
Trump suggested on Twitter there may be more to the story of Fuddy's death.
"How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama's 'birth certificate' died in plane crash today. All others lived," he tweeted Thursday.
Richard Schuman, owner of Makani Kai Air, said his company's plane crashed near Hawaii's Molokai island after experiencing engine failure. The Cessna Grand Caravan crash-landed in the ocean shortly after take-off and the other eight people on board survived.
Orly Taitz, a Russian-born dentist-turned-lawyer who has tenaciously filed court challenges to Obama's eligibility to be president, also weighed in on Fuddy's death.
Taitz said her attempts to debunk the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate may be connected to the plane crash.
"Attorney Taitz calls on eight courts and judges who received her cases to rule expeditiously on the merits and review the evidence of forgery and theft in Obama's IDs before more people die in strange accidents," she said in a press release.
Taitz hastily wrote a letter Thursday to Fuddy's deputy, Keith Yamamoto, inquiring about the specifics of department policy for releasing long-form birth certificates. Yamamoto was on board the plane and told Catholic priest Patrick Killilea he was holding Fuddy's hand when she died, Killilea told KITV.
In April 2011 Trump told the "Today" show he had dispatched a investigators to Hawaii to investigate Obama's birth place and claimed "they cannot believe what they're finding."
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His probe produced no evidence showing Obama was not born in Hawaii.
Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, however took on the challenge and appointed a five-person "cold case posse" to analyze the White House-released birth certificate. During a March 2012 press conference he declared it a "computer-generated forgery" and claimed two felonies had been committed in its preparation.
Arpaio, however, seems to be on the outs with the "birther" movement. Taitz published on her blog a letter from a self-described Arpaio donor, who promised not to send the 81-year-old sheriff another contribution until he acts on "the 100 [percent] evidence [he] claims to have showing that Obama committed fraud in Maricopa county by running for president."
Arpaio's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.