Robert Fuller’s death confirmed as a suicide, investigators say
The victim reportedly struggled with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts over the past year.
Authorities have confirmed that the death of a 24-year-old Black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California was the result of a suicide.
Detectives claim Robert Fuller struggled with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts over the past year. He even heard voices telling him to kill himself and twice had to be hospitalized, KTLA.com reports.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Cmdr. Chris Marks also noted at a news briefing on Thursday that Fuller’s family “provided much-needed information” throughout the investigation into his death.
“They indicated that they would let the investigation take its course, and were open-minded about his cause of death, not really speculating one way or the other,” he said.
Fuller was discovered hanging from a tree near Palmdale City Hall on June 10, amid national protests and civil unrest over race relations and police brutality.
The city was quick to rule Fuller’ death a homicide but residents felt something far more sinister was at work, theGrio previously reported.
Fuller’s death was called a “lynching,” and some compared it to the police killing of George Floyd. The community rallied a protest where Fuller’s body was hung, Newsweek reported.
During the new conference this week, Marks said Fuller’s body was suspended from the tree in a way “indicating that the victim was not hoisted into that position.”
Authorities said Fuller’s debit card was used at a local Dollar Tree store in May to purchase the rope used in his hanging. According to the report, Fuller’s body showed no signs of a struggle or defensive wounds and his hands were not bound.
“There were no signs that he attempted to remove the ligature from his neck,” said Marks.
Palmdale City Hall initially predetermined that Fuller was a casualty to COVID-19, suggesting he wanted to die rather than be optimistic about recovering.
“Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the city said in a statement. “The city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times. We are in this together.”
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