1324 days later


1324 days ago my whole world changed. My first born son died by suicide (according to his death certificate). It is no secret that I hounded the police department to look again at his case. A part of me could not accept that it was suicide. I don’t know of any other suicides that have taken place with a witness present. (I am sure it has happened but I am guessing most often suicide victims are alone when they die.) I begged the police to be sure that there was no way the girl he was with could have been the one to pull the trigger. The detective was patronizing and dismissive. But he did assure me that once all test results can back from the lab, they could prove that my son pulled the trigger. I have been waiting 1324 days for those test results. If you expect me to live with the fact that my son died by suicide, you need to prove to me that it was suicide. It has been a long journey attempting to get answers that I desperately want and need. Life tends to take over and my begging subsided. I stopped contacting the police department on a weekly basis, and at some point I guess I gave up all together. A few days ago, a post from the police department’s Facebook page popped up in my feed. I went to their page and saw that I could send them a private message. I sent a message and an officer called me today. He was extremely kind and very understanding. But he didn’t really have answers. The gun shot residue test still has not been processed, nor has any other evidence in my son’s case. He went on to tell me that in reality, the evidence probably will not be processed because they already know the girl would test positive for gun shot residue based on the close quarters of the car. I give this officer credit for being honest and giving me details I didn’t have before now. He also corrected some misinformation that I had previously been given. The detective who processed my son’s case is no longer with the department for mishandling cases, including Zachary’s. And 1324 days later, there isn’t much they can do to fix it. However, he did look at the crime scene photos and discuss with me at length how the girl could not have pulled the trigger. He took the time to listen to me as I cried and explained that it could have been an accidental shooting not an intentional one.  In essence, I have been waiting all this time for nothing. Someone could have been this honest back at the beginning and saved me the agony but they didn’t. It is amazing to me that a few small details from a compassionate person could change everything. Well, not everything just my perspective. 1324 days later, my son is still gone and it still hurts the same.


8 responses to “1324 days later

  1. Oh, Melissa! My heart aches for this horrible, horrible pain! How can it be true that you have to live with such a terrible weight, always crushing, never yielding?

    But I know it IS true. You have to bear Zachary’s death every single minute of every day.

    Every part of me cries out This Should Not Be. He Should Be Here.

    But he is not.

    I am so glad this man was compassionate. I am also angry. I feel like Zachary – and you – have not been treated like you should be. Evidence should not be sitting around, passed over, pushed aside. They should investigate. They should care as much as Zachary’s life was worth – and it was worth everything.

    Zachary stays with me. I think of him – often. Maybe it is strange. I didn’t know him in person. You and I have written about that. But because of you, I know his face. I have read about his wonderful sense of humor, the unique light of Zachary and who he was and what he brought to this world. The other day, I was in Walmart and saw a Spiderman – and your Zachary was the first person on my mind.

    You are not forgotten here. Zachary is not forgotten. I wish, I wish, I wish…for a million things that won’t come. No matter how much I wish them. I’m so sorry, Melissa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for helping me keep his memory alive. it is more comfort than you can know that someone gets to “know” even beyond death.


  2. And for what it’s worth – I agree with you. Although I’m sure they exist, I have – personally – never heard of a suicide where someone else was present. Not in such close proximity, not in the same car. I completely understand why that raises questions in your mind. I think it should. That is legitimate, and I wish they would go ahead and do every test they can.

    Like you, I think there is more to the story. Zachary can’t tell it, it sounds like the girl won’t tell it – but maybe the evidence would. I pray they’ll look further, for your sake and Zachary’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my. On top of your pain at losing your son you have been going through this, too?

    There is so much more a mother deals with long after a child’s death. We are so emotionally and mentally drained with ongoing situations. Whether it is unanswered questions such as yours or the alienation and isolation that often comes from losing a child.

    Thank-you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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