Fox News on Tuesday retracted a story that played up a conspiracy theory that says a Democratic National Committee staffer was murdered after leaking DNC documents to WikiLeaks.

Fox said in a statement that the story "was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting" and that "upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed."

It added that Fox "will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted."

The story was first published at Fox News on May 16, following a report from WTTG, a Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C.

The story had relied on interviews with Rod Wheeler, a private investigator and Fox contributor, who said he found evidence that the slain DNC staffer, Seth Rich, had been in touch with WikiLeaks before his murder last summer.

The claim was passed around online by some conspiracy theorists who believe 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the DNC were involved in Rich's murder. It was also promoted by conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity.

WikiLeaks was the publisher of thousands of emails in 2016 that were stolen in a hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's private Gmail account.

Local police are still investigating Rich's murder but have said that evidence suggests it was related to a botched burglary.