Transgender youth’s death report released

Research on suicide prevention and runaway assistance on laptop

Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender youth whose case has prompted a worldwide reaction, explored “runaway assistance,” as well as suicide prevention before her death on Dec. 28, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol report released Wednesday.

The 26-page report also found brakes on the semi-truck that hit her were in a condition that could have prompted the carrier to place it “out of service.”

Around 2:20 a.m. Dec. 28 Alcorn apparently walked into the path of a semi southbound on Interstate 71 near the Ohio 48 exit.

The semi-truck driver, whose name has been redacted from the report, told the highway patrol he was traveling 63 mph when he saw something run in front of him.

He tried to veer left to avoid hitting Alcorn, of Kings Mills.

“It happened within a second and was over,” according to the report released Wednesday.

The patrol released the report in response to a public records request by the Cox Media Group.

Near the crash, troopers found Alcorn’s laptop computer. It contained “numerous Internet activity logs related to suicide prevention.”

One text message found on the laptop said, “I am so uncomfortable with my body and myself that if I don’t do this I wouldn’t be able to help myself but commit suicide.”

Alcorn had been receiving therapy sessions with a counselor which sought to get her to stop identifying as female. Alcorn wrote in online blogs that she was resisting the treatment, called conversion therapy.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama called for an end to psychiatric therapy treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

Obama’s comments came in response to a petition submitted to the White House’s website that cited Alcorn’s case.

Alcorn’s picture was also displayed recently as Olympian Bruce Jenner revealed he considered himself a female during an ABC News 20-20 segment exploring issues of gender inequality and Jenner’s transgender existence.

These were the latest in a series of reactions around the world to Alcorn’s death. Her death has been ruled a suicide by the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

The day after the death, a trooper interviewed Alcorn’s parents at their house. They provided a note that had been left on her bed but had been thrown in a trash can.

“The note said, ‘“I’ve had enough,” according to the report.

Her parents told the trooper she had been undergoing treatment for depression and was on medication, but “was doing much better over the past few months.”

Toxicology reports found no “drugs of abuse” or alcohol in Alcorn’s system or in the system of the truck driver.

An examination of the truck found the brakes needed adjustment and “could have been placed out of service,” according to the report.

The laptop, still “powered on,” was found inside her backpack.

A forensic examination found no suicide letters “written and saved,” but logs indicating she was using the internet to explore suicide prevention.

In a 2014 chat with a friend, she said, “I had my jacket and clothes and shoes on. My suicide note was queued on Tumblr (an online social network), and I was ready to jump off the bridge next to my house that goes over I-71.”

Instead Alcorn said she called a suicide prevention hotline for transgenders. “I basically cried my eyes out out for a couple hours talking to a lady on there.”

She used the laptop to search the word “suicide” in Tumblr and searched for runaway assistance using Google.

“The information does not definitely prove circumstances surrounding Alcorn’s death; however, allusions to suicide and depression were present,” Trooper M.J. Ortiz said in conclusion of his examination of the computer.

She would have turned 18 on Jan. 21.

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