Police in Huntington Beach, Calif. were aware of 17-year-old Matthew Cline’s suicide note, posted on a social media website. They also knew his address, as well as where he attended school. However, law enforcement did not act on that information. If they had, they could have prevented Cline from shooting himself in the head on July 17 at the home he shared with his parents.
Matthew’s parents are now suing the police department for not attempting to stop the suicide. Police did not even inform the parents of the suicide warning so that they could have taken steps themselves.
The day before he killed himself, Matthew posted a message on iFunny, a site usually used for comedy. The note read, "My name is Matthew Cline. This will be my last post on ifunny as I will be committing suicide tonight."
Another teen, Ana Gutierrez of Los Banos, Calif., read Matthew’s note and contacted the police. Ana also found clues about Matthew’s whereabouts, which were enough for dispatchers to find an address.
However, police were not convinced that the address was correct, so they decided not to do anything about the suicide threat. They had found two listings for Matthew Cline in Huntington Beach and did not want to visit both.
Instead of hearing from police, Matthew’s mother Kathy returned home from the gym to find her son dead.
Bill Cline, Matthew’s father, said, “We just wanted a chance. He was our world.”
According to Matthew’s parents, "Approximately 20 hours after the HBPD received the call from Gutierrez, Matthew shot himself in the head and committed suicide at his Dovewood [Drive] residence. Had the HBPD made contact by sending a unit to the Dovewood address, or even just telephoning the Clines, Matthew Cline would be alive and well today."
Matthew’s parents are also alleging that by assuring Gutierrez that they would intervene, the police effectively prevented her from acting further to help save Matthew’s life.
Matthew was a senior in high school, and played varsity football.