DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — A mother and son who had been living in a Dothan motel hanged themselves outside of a business Wednesday afternoon, according to Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd.
Coroner Byrd says the mother, 80, and the son, 55, hailed from Key West and had only been in Dothan for a short time.
According to Coroner 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 found the mother and son dead at around 5:30 p.m.
Byrd tells WDHN that he has never seen anything like this in his nearly 35 years as a coroner.
“It’s sad,” Byrd said “Very sad.”
WDHN is not currently identifying the names of the victims.
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.