Real life experiences from Maryland
Graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.
The loss of life is always heartbreaking, especially when it involves a young person who hasn’t had a chance to experience life after their education career. You can ask any law enforcement officer around and most will tell you a story that involves a death that has stuck with them. Well, this is definitely one of those type of stories that has stuck with me over the years. This was in no way my first time seeing a deceased person, but in the manner that the person was discovered is the image that continues to burn in my memory today. Thank God I have not suffered nightmares or severe PTSD from it, but just something that I will never forget, and it also serves as a reminder how precious and sensitive a young person’s life is.
I remember it was either late afternoon or early evening as I was patrolling the campus when a call came over the radio about someone bleeding heavily. Of course, once I received the call I immediately turned on my lights and siren and got there as fast as I can. Thankfully the traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian, was not that heavy and I was able to get there pretty quick. I discovered later that one of our officers was a lot closer to the dorm than I was and could’ve easily jumped the call, but it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run. Still under the impression that this is an attempted suicide call, I rush into the building and jump on the first elevator that opens up. Perfect timing!
Two other students came on the elevator with me and all three of us got off on the same floor; maybe the 6th or 7th. The elevator doors open up and I go right as the other two go left, which was the proper direction for the dorm room. Once I realized I went the wrong way, I turned around and started back down the hallway towards the elevators. After you pass the elevators, you have to go through a set of double doors and then another long hallway with some more dorm rooms. Immediately after I walked through the double doors, I see two students in the middle of the hallway in just tears. Once they see me, they pointed into the room where I needed to be. When I entered the dorm room, I was extremely shocked on what I saw as I was not prepared for the scene. My shock was written on my face for a brief second when I saw this young college student hanging from the end of a scarf.
Not a site for anyone to see, regardless of how many times you’ve seen death and destruction. Another student was in the room as I entered, and of course, she had to be told to leave and close the door behind her. Under sheer adrenaline I ended up cutting the scarf before EMS and the fire department arrived, which I was educated on not to do. Not to describe the entire scene, but it was discovered through our primary investigation that she had been there for nearly twelve hours. After wrapping my head around the incident, I started to think that none of her neighbors, on both sides and across the hallway, knew what was happening and what just occurred. Everyone else got up the following morning going about their day, passing her room, and no one still had the knowledge of what had taken place. She was only discovered by one of three other roommates that lived in the room and happened to return earlier than expected. I often wonder how many times we pass people, places and things and not aware of what is happening.
Of course, it wasn’t an easy thing to notify her other roommates of what just happened, but I was thankful I didn’t have the duty to phone the parents; our detectives were blessed with that tasks. However, a scene like this wasn’t helpful in me getting rid of the ‘Angel of Death’ curse I was supposedly stuck with; but now that curse appeared to have attached to someone else and hasn’t returned to reclaim my soul. I would like to keep that away from me as much as possible! Only time will tell with that as there is no discrimination! Sometimes you have to be thinking what signs were missed or how many times were her calls for help ignored, or maybe she never wanted anyone to know about her situation. The sad thing is we will never know, but we can still help others from going down the same road, to meet the same fate. There is no easy answer or one track to battle any signs of depression, as each person is different, but sometimes just being available for someone and providing a shoulder can be a great step.