As reported pretty much everywhere, Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday at the age of 63. Incredibly sad news, and news that has raised a ton of discussion around the world in regards to mental health, substance abuse, etc. Now an official statement has been released, giving us more of an insight (not that I think the public necessarily should have it) on what exactly happened.
From US Weekly:
In a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 12, Lt. Keith Boyd told reporters that, while the investigation is ongoing, the Oscar-winning actor’s preliminary cause of death has been determined to be “asphyxia due to hanging.”
According to Lt. Boyd, Williams was found in his Tiburon, Calif., home at around 11:45 a.m. by his personal assistant, who became concerned when the actor failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door. Boyd told reporters that Williams was discovered in a “seated position,” “slightly suspended” above the ground, with a belt around his neck.
There was also evidence, Boyd said, of superficial wounds on the inside of Williams’ left wrist. A pocket knife was found nearby.
Officials responded to the assistant’s 911 call at 11:55 a.m. According to Boyd, it’s unknown at this point when exactly he committed suicide, but he was pronounced dead just after 12:00 p.m.
Per Boyd’s timeline of events, Williams was last seen alive the previous evening at around 10:30 p.m., when his wife, Susan Schneider, went to bed. He retired to a different room in the house at some point that night.
So basically, he tried to slit his wrists first and when that didn’t work, he hanged himself. I can only imagine what a desperate state he must have been in – you would think that perhaps in a state of mania if he didn’t succeed in cutting his wrists, it might have snapped him back to reality a bit and made him stop and think. I don’t mean to be insensitive and I’m not blaming him – obviously I’ve never been there, so I can’t say for sure – I just think this keeps getting sadder and sadder and even when it’s someone you don’t know, it’s awful to see or hear about another person being in such pain.
Because the investigation is still going on, police wouldn’t reveal whether or not a note was left. We do know, however, that he had been in treatment for depression. Perhaps when he checked into rehab in the beginning of last month, he was hoping he could find help?