A teenage couple was found dead in Pennsylvania Nov. 2 in what investigators believe was a double suicide.
Although authorities have not confirmed the identities of the two victims, friends and family members have stated online that their names were Brenden Shipman and Annika Monique, according to Daily Mail.
The teenagers’ bodies were found in a car at around 4 p.m. near Rose Valley Lake in Gamble Township. Both had gunshot wounds. Relatives had been searching for the two after they failed to show up for school.
“Every indication appears at this point that these deaths were self-inflicted,” said Jerold Ross, chief deputy county coroner, according to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
Police confirmed a handgun was recovered at the scene, but refused to give further details.
“This is a horrible, horrible tragedy,” Ross added.
No one knows why the boy and girl would have taken their own lives.
“We are shocked and saddened by these students’ deaths,” said Williamsport Area School District Superintendent Timothy Bowers, according to PennLive. “We have a team of grief counselors available on site for our students, faculty and staff.”
The school has banned the media from the school grounds.
Suicide has been recognized as a significant public health issue in Pennsylvania for some time. In 2013, 222 people in the 5-24 age group took their own lives, making suicide the second most common cause of death.
In the 25-44 age group, there were 515 suicides statewide.
In 2001, Pennsylvania adopted a suicide prevention strategy.
The initiative produced advice for people with concerns about someone, including a list of questions a concerned individual should ask to determine whether the person presents a suicide risk.
The person should ask themselves, reports PennLive, whether the person of concern has shared any of the following:
- Talk about wanting to die, be dead, or about suicide, or are they cutting or burning themselves?
- Feeling like things may never get better, seeming like they are in terrible emotional pain (like something is wrong deep inside but they can’t make it go away), or they are struggling to deal with a big loss in their life?
- Or is your gut telling you to be worried because they have withdrawn from everyone and everything, have become more anxious or on edge, seem unusually angry, or just don’t seem normal to you?