This post deals with suicide, and might be triggering for some readers.
At 3.39am on Wednesday, June 10, the body of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black man, was found hanging from a tree in the city of Palmdale, California.
A passer-by found his body and notified authorities. Fire department personnel were first on the scene, and determined Fuller was deceased.
"Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears Mr. Fuller, tragically, died by suicide," a statement, dated June 12, by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department read.
Palmdale city inferred in a statement that Fuller's "alleged death by suicide" was likely connected to the significant challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the city said. "The city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times. We are in this together."
However, Fuller's family insists this is not an incident of suicide.
Not only do they believe the tree on which he was found was too thin and weak to support his weight for any long period of time, they also say he was not suicidal.
“This is really crazy to all of us,” Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander said, according to the LA Times. “We want to find out the truth of what really happened. Everything that they’ve been telling us has not been right.
“To be here, staring at this tree, it don’t make no sense,” Alexander continued. “My brother was not suicidal. My brother was a survivor.”