I wonder if anyone can tell me based on their experience or secondhand knowledge, does the police department typically not release a suicide note and retain it as evidence in an investigation?  I did not get the one written by my son returned to me with his personal affects, but I am aware that one was written because it is mentioned in the police report.  I called the evidence dept regarding this, and the person did not have an explanation for me, other than to say that she had verified everything on her check-off sheet.  This is very troubling to me.  I would appreciate it if anyone has information that can shed more light on the situation, as to what is the protocol regarding suicide notes.  Thank you in advance.

Views: 13758

Replies to This Discussion

I don't know what the protocol is with it, but the police department did not even tell my family there was a note.  We did not find out until about 9 months later when I got my gun back from the police department along with a note and my brother's cell phone.  I just thought it was so cruel that they didn't tell us about the note and his cell phone missing had been a mystery to us also.  And just to forewarn others, when I got my gun back from the police department that my brother had used to kill himself, it was not cleaned and they also gave me everything, including the bullet that killed him.  I was very glad my bestfriend went with me to get the items, because I was not prepared or knew everything that they were going to hand over.

Kat, that must have been terribly overwhelming for you.  I hope at least that the police dept gave you a heads up and that you did discover it for yourself.  My police dept was good about that, telling me of the gun's condition, and even recommended I not be the one to open the container.

There has to be a better way, some kind of compromise.  My son's note, which was merely how he wanted his remains to be handled, was not given due consideration: We received it too late for his requests to be honored.  I understand the need for police regulations, but one would think there could be a way to somehow show greater regard for the family and deceased loved one amid all of the mandatory investigative requirements, especially in such personal areas as suicide notes and last wishes.

kat said:

I don't know what the protocol is with it, but the police department did not even tell my family there was a note.  We did not find out until about 9 months later when I got my gun back from the police department along with a note and my brother's cell phone.  I just thought it was so cruel that they didn't tell us about the note and his cell phone missing had been a mystery to us also.  And just to forewarn others, when I got my gun back from the police department that my brother had used to kill himself, it was not cleaned and they also gave me everything, including the bullet that killed him.  I was very glad my bestfriend went with me to get the items, because I was not prepared or knew everything that they were going to hand over.

I'm sorry to hear that Theresa.  I only knew of some of my brother's wishes because we had talked about it before.  Just an odd random conversation that actually ended up having some relevance unfortunately. I can understand the police department's need for it as 'evidence', but they do need to come up with some way to either tell them families about the notes or give a copy of it before it can be released as old evidence or something.  I'm sure every police department has a different protocol, if even one at all.

Does anyone know if the police report, autopsy, toxology, etc are available to anyone? My girlfriend committed suicide and I was not there. Her family does not speak a lot of English so it has been hard to get the information I want from them. Her mom found her so I do not want to push her when she has witnessed something so tragic (she hung herself). I just feel like I need to know everything in order to move on and grieve properly. It is all I think about. Was she taking her meds properly? Had she been drinking? It has not even been a month since this happened and it is eating away at me day and night.

Hi Laurin.  The medical examiner's and police reports are available and can be released to the next of kin.  Hopefully if you are on good terms with her family they would permit you to view the reports.  I understand your need to know, because I too needed to see and know everything.  I hope it helps you with reconciling your loss.  And I'm sorry for what you're going through.  Take care of yourself and reach out whenever you need to talk about it.  We are here for you.

Laurin said:

Does anyone know if the police report, autopsy, toxology, etc are available to anyone? My girlfriend committed suicide and I was not there. Her family does not speak a lot of English so it has been hard to get the information I want from them. Her mom found her so I do not want to push her when she has witnessed something so tragic (she hung herself). I just feel like I need to know everything in order to move on and grieve properly. It is all I think about. Was she taking her meds properly? Had she been drinking? It has not even been a month since this happened and it is eating away at me day and night.

interesting... I was told my son didnt leave one and if you did the police would never take it from me. My son just passed 5 weeks ago tomorrow. I remember them taking a large paper bag out of the house with his name and birthdate on it and no one has told me what was in the bag. Can you ask for a copy of the police report? They are sending me a copy of his toxicolgy and autopsy reports but. I have not heard anything from anyone since the day my son died. I would like to know what was in the bag though. I was told by the pastor that was at the house they thought just the things he just to take his life.

 

Carin, First let me say how sorry I am for your loss.  It is a terrible tragedy that we cannot make sense of, even though we are compelled to in order to work through our grief.  And it is a traumatic event which may very likely have PTSD (post-traumatic stress) affects on you for a while to come, especially if you were the one to find him.  I lost my boy 8-1/2 mos ago. The healing process is pretty rough and complex, because we have to process two separate issues; one, the loss of our child, and second, the suicide itself.  I just want to encourage you that you will not always feel so overwhelmed with the pain.  It does become more bearable with time.

     You as next of kin have the right to request a copy of the police report once they have completed their investigation.  Contact the P.D. and ask to speak to the detective in charge of your son's case, and ask him/her if the investigation is open or closed.  If s/he says it is closed, then ask to receive a copy of the report.  Specifically ask if they found a suicide note and ask for a copy of it.  Please realize that only about 15% of those who die by suicide write a note.  Most often their thoughts are too disorganized to be able to attend to it.

     Please keep us updated how you are holding up, as well as with the status of your interactions with the P.D.  Take care of yourself, get and be open to lots of support, and visit this site as often as you need to, talk about your loss and receive comfort and encouragement.  In the early days after our loss, we need to remember to take things one step at a time, try not to let yourself become overwhelmed, get enough rest, remember to eat even if you don't feel like it, remember to breathe.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers. 

Theresa,

Yes I was the one to find him and was alone in that room not knowing one thing to do for my son because I was in so much shock. Since your response on Thursday I have received all three reports. Police, Autopsy & topology. No note is listed in the police report and I was also able to speak to the detective at my house that day. He promises me no note was found and they took nothing from Cody but the belt he used and 27 color photos of Cody and the area of his death. We just had an external autopsy done and matches pretty much what we already knew.  The toxicology came back negative so no answers there either. There was one thing in the police report that helped just me in this grieving process when I found him all my mind fixed on was my son and large amounts of blood I never knew why I wasn’t able to pull him back to me or roll him over. I also have been struggling with the fact that when I went outside of my house to try and get someone to help me that maybe he was still alive and I wasted time because I remember he was still warm to me. Some of the things in the report indicate he may have been gone a few hours before I found him after doing some of my own research.  

I am seeking help through our church and medical for now. I am having a good amount of PTSD and my Dr. Told me Friday this is normal and would be worried if I didn’t.

Thank you for your response and I am truly sorry for your loss as well. I am realizing that only a mother who has lost a child this way only truly understands how another mother feels.  I have a lot of concerned friends and family that mean well but I’m sure only because this hasn’t happened directly to them they just can’t understand just how much as a mother especially who found there child that we are going through.

 

Hello, I just lost my son on 1.29.12.  He wrote a 2 page note and it was found with his body.  The police dept. returned it to his girlfriend she was the main focus and then copies were made for the family.  Check with a girlfriend who might have it. I also got his personal stuff left on his body which wasn't more than some change.  I'm still in disbelief, I feel like I'm headed for a massive collision of feelings soon.

Kat that was horrible.  I don't know your police dept but giving you the bullet back was just gruesome, and I am very very sorry for your loss.
 
kat said:

I don't know what the protocol is with it, but the police department did not even tell my family there was a note.  We did not find out until about 9 months later when I got my gun back from the police department along with a note and my brother's cell phone.  I just thought it was so cruel that they didn't tell us about the note and his cell phone missing had been a mystery to us also.  And just to forewarn others, when I got my gun back from the police department that my brother had used to kill himself, it was not cleaned and they also gave me everything, including the bullet that killed him.  I was very glad my bestfriend went with me to get the items, because I was not prepared or knew everything that they were going to hand over.

Oh my Linda, my son too suffered 2 years with migraines, recently put on a pill, he said he was vomiting and feeling suicidal.  But he stopped the pill himself.  He still suffered with migraines and then took a gun and shot himself in the head, right where his migraine was.  I'm sorry for your losses. How do you continue on?
 
Linda Warriner said:

Theresa, My daughter did not leave a note but my son did 7 years later when he committed suicide in his own bathroom on March 29th, 2008.    He wrote a note to apologize to all of his family for doing what he did but he was in a great deal of pain daily with migraine headaches and when he took the medicine for  headaches, he had stomach trouble, then back and forth, he was miserable most of the time and in a lot of pain.  He attended several clinics and changed doctors many times but he did not get much relief.  They would only give him 9 pills per month and that was not enough for his headaches. 

 

Anyway, he did leave this note and the police took it but returned it to his wife about a week or so later in a sheet protector.  (They may have given her a copy of it instead of the original, but it was his note.)

 

You can ask for all documents regarding the "open records act" and get a copy of each page of the incident report, photos of crime scene, notes of officers, and the complete investigation that is written for that particular incident report.  You can write to the Coroners office for a copy of the autopsy and death reports.  We received a total of about 130 pages from my daughters suicide of 9/1/01.  it has just been 10 years this past week.  I still cry almost daily for them both and I light a candle for them on the 1st day of each month.  I talk about them to anyone who will listen and look at all my pictures often.  I write poetry to them about what is going on around me now.  that helps me a little.  A journal just writing down how I feel help also.  I hand delivered by request for all papers thru the open records act to the city attorney because in our city that's who handles it.  I hope some of this helps you.

Gloria... I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I hope the note is something you can tresure in some way. My son did not leave us a not. I was locked out of his cell phone so I can't even read his thoughts from that morning either. I kind of just read post here at this group and now and then write something. I feel bad because the others on this group seem to have nice comforting words for each person and I'm still at such a loss for words for my own loss other then to say I  understand how you fell and we are here to read and listen.  But everyone here knows exactly what you are going through that's why I have turned to this site.

God Bless you Gloria

RSS

Latest Conversations

Paul Lostritto posted a photo
4 hours ago
Profile IconKay Brown, Terry Hutson, Paul Lostritto and 1 more joined LegacyConnect
14 hours ago
Terri Farmer liked Terri Farmer's profile
Saturday
Terri Farmer liked Terri Farmer's profile
Saturday

Community Guidelines

Please be respectful of others. For more information, read our Community Guidelines.

Follow Legacy

© 2019   Created by Legacy.com.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service