DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — A mother and son who had been living in a Dothan motel hung themselves outside of a business Wednesday afternoon, according to Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd.
Byrd said the 80-year-old mother and her 55-year-old son, both from Key West, Florida, had only been in Dothan for a short time.
According to Byrd, the pair purchased phone charging cords from a Dothan business on Ross Clark Circle, went behind the store, and tied the cords to the handrail of a commercial dumpster. An employee reportedly found the two dead at around 5:30 p.m.
Byrd said that in his 35 years as a coroner, he has never seen a death quite like that.
“It’s sad,” Byrd said “Very sad.”
Data released by the Centers for Disease Control shows that in 2022, around 49,500 people took their own lives in the United States, the highest number ever recorded.
Experts caution that suicide is complicated, and that recent increases might be driven by a range of factors, including higher rates of depression and limited availability of mental health services.
Despite the grim statistics, some say there is a reason for optimism. A national crisis line launched a year ago, meaning anyone in the U.S. can dial 988 to reach mental health specialists.