2nd UPDATE: Authorities walked back an initial statement that Robert Fuller’s death appeared to be a suicide. In a press conference on June 15, Los Angeles County’s Medical Examiner-Coroner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, said, “Initially there wasn’t any evidence or information that led us to believe that there was anything other than a suicide… but we felt better that we should look into it a little more deeply and carefully just considering all the circumstances at play. [View the entire press conference here.]
UPDATE: The victim has been identified by family members as Robert Fuller. An online fundraiser has been established to help cover the cost of his burial. To donate, visit: https://gf.me/u/x8rm9w
PALMDALE – The body of a man in his 20s was found hanging from a tree Wednesday near Palmdale City Hall, authorities said.
The body was found around 4 a.m. Wednesday, June 10, with a rope around the man’s neck, hanging from a tree in Poncitlan Square, according to Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.
All indicators point to a suicide, Dean said, but investigators are waiting for full autopsy results and information from the man’s next of kin regarding past issues with mental illness.
Palmdale City officials released a statement Thursday, extending “sincere condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the individual who tragically passed away in Palmdale… Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” [View the complete statement here.]
“Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” city officials said in the statement.
“Many people are suffering extreme mental anguish and the city wants everyone to know that help is available,” said City Manager JJ Murphy. “There are local resources such as Mental Health America of Los Angeles, AV Vet Center, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.”
For the past few months, the City of Palmdale has partnered with local mental health experts to host a virtual Mental Health Town Hall every other Monday. It helps residents gain valuable tools to cope with mental health concerns and lean on the peer support of those with knowledge and experience in the field.
The next session will take place Monday, June 15, at 10 a.m. To participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and note “Mental Health Town Hall” in the subject line. City staff will then provide you with the meeting information and access code.
The County of Los Angeles also has mental health resources available on their website at https://dmh.lacounty.gov/
Those needing to talk to someone immediately regarding anxiety or depression should call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health 24-hour hotline at 800-854-7711, or text LA to 741741.
“The city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times,” Murphy added. “We are in this together.”
UPDATE/ Editor’s note: The AV Times has been contacted by several readers not connected to this incident who strongly believe that the death was not a suicide and other suspicious factors are at play. If you have verifiable information that you would like to share with our readers to bring more clarity to this unfortunate incident, please email email@example.com.