Questions surround string of teen suicides - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pemiscot County, MO

Questions surround string of teen suicides

Questions surround string of teen suicides
By: Holly Brantley

PEMISCOT COUNTY, Mo. - A string of suicides leaves the communities of Caruthersville and Hayti in shock. According to Pemiscot County Coroner, Jim Brimhall, four young men under the age of twenty hanged themselves between July and November. The most recent happened last Friday.

Authorities say the young men were friends, and now they are trying to figure out if the deaths are related. Meanwhile, authorities want to make sure Pemiscot County doesn't have to deal with another untimely death.

"I've had suicides but nothing like this, or this many at one time." said Coroner, Jim Brimhall. "It's about to drive everybody nuts. They had their whole live in front of them."

Brimhall says investigating suicides is part of the job, but this case is one he can't figure out. "As far as I know, the kids were just as happy as they could be," Brimhall said. "One was planning to buy a new four wheeler. He was all excited about that. Then one night he was out friends. They took him home, and when they came back, his sister found him dead."

Now, authorities are trying to figure out why the teens ended their lives, if the deaths are connected somehow, and if other teens are planning to do the same. "If it's a coincidence I don't know," said Brimhall. "But having four in a few month period, I don't think it's a coincidence. There's got to be more to it. We're talking to a lot of people and to kids, and trying to put a stop to it.

Authorities are looking at the possibility of bringing some kind of suicide prevention team to the schools.

No foul play is suspected in any of the cases at this time. Brimhall says toxicology tests have been performed on all four teens.  So far, results for only one have come back. Those tests did not show any sign of alcohol or drugs in the teens system.

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