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Death at Ohio State graduation investigated as suicide


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Officials in Columbus, Ohio, are investigating Sunday’s death during the graduation ceremony at Ohio State University’s football stadium as a suicide, coroner’s records show.

On Tuesday, the university announced that the woman who fell from the stadium bleachers had been identified as Larissa Brady, a relative of a graduate who took part in Sunday’s ceremony.

Preliminary reports from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office say Brady’s death is being investigated as an “apparent suicide,” the Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported.

Brady, 53, lived north of Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and son, and her daughter was a senior at OSU, according to the school’s commencement program.

What does the coroner’s report say?

According to the coroner’s report, Brady spoke to her daughter as she entered the stadium before kickoff.

Brady then went into the stadium with her husband and son, 12, to watch the ceremony, the coroner’s report said. Once seated, Brady told her family she wanted to move higher up in the stadium and her family told investigators they had lost track of her.

After making their way to the last row of benches, witnesses saw Brady climbing over the stadium’s concrete wall, according to the coroner’s office.

On Sunday, photos from the scene showed police and yellow tape at Gate 30 of Ohio Stadium.

What did Ohio State University say?

Ohio State University officials said Tuesday that campus police, who were responsible for investigating the incident, did not suspect foul play and do not believe Brady’s death was accidental.

The OSU community is grieving and going through a difficult time this week, university spokesman Benjamin Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.

“Ohio State mourns the death of Larissa Brady, a family member of one of our graduates,” Johnson said. “Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this exceptionally difficult time.”

Following the death, the university contacted all graduates and employees who had volunteered to attend graduation and offered counseling services, Johnson told the Dispatch.

University officials and commencement speakers — including social entrepreneur and OSU alum Chris Pan — made no reference to the death during the ceremony, which continued uninterrupted, the Dispatch reported.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or crisis and needs help, call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.