Asian man kills himself at Thacher Park

NEW SCOTLAND — The death of a 20-year-old man found at the bottom of the escarpment in John Boyd Thacher State Park has been ruled a suicide, Inspector J.T. Campbell of the Albany County Sheriff's Office said.

The man’s name was not being released on Friday.

He was from an area just outside of Hong Kong, Campbell said. 

“Here for education,” Sheriff Craig Apple wrote on Twitter. 

Campbell said on Friday that the man’s parents had been contacted. 

The man is believed to have died on Wednesday night, Campbell said. 

On Thursday morning, the sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call about a “suspicious incident that was discovered inside the bathroom of the Glen Dune picnic area,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office, while a subsequent canvass of the area by sheriff’s personnel found the man “at the bottom of the escarpment.”

Campbell explained that the incident in the bathroom involved the 20-year-old man — but declined to say what the suspicious activity was — which led to the canvass of the area.

In the past year at Thacher Park, a 25-year-old man survived three frigid nights at the base of the escarpment after jumping from one of the park’s cliffs, and a 64-year-old New Scotland woman was talked off of a ledge.


Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a Vital Signs report showing that suicide rates between 1999 and 2016 went up more than 30 percent in half the states; in New York, the increase was 28.8 percent. Nearly 45,000 people lost their lives to suicide in 2016.

If someone you love has killed themselves, help is available through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which provides toolkits for schools and workplaces after a suicide, bereavement clinicians, and support groups.

The New York State’s Office of Mental Health recently partnered with Crisis Text Line, a national not-for-profit group that provides free around-the-clock text-based support for people in crisis, helping people facing suicidal thoughts, cyberbullying, family emergencies, maternal depression, and more. Users are connected to a trained crisis counselor by texting “GOT5” to 741-741. Data usage is free and text messages are confidential, anonymous, and secure. This is in addition to the National Suicide Preventioni Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. 

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