Update on Coroner’s investigation on Bourne

mcsoThe Mono County Sheriff’s Office arranged for an autopsy in the death of Dr. Andrew Bourne of Mammoth Lakes.  Following is the press release issued Friday evening:

“Dr. Andrew Bourne, age 46, of Mammoth Lakes, was found deceased by his spouse on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 24th.

An autopsy was conducted on the morning of Friday January 27, 2012 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Coroner with results confirming that Dr. Bourne did commit suicide. There is no evidence to suspect foul play in his death. Final cause of death is still pending toxicological results which could take several weeks or longer.”

Asked what other factors led the Coroner to conclude that Dr. Bourne did take his own life, Mono County Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger said things at the scene of Dr. Bourne’s death, but he declined to discuss these details.

Santa Barbara news outlets have reported that their sources say Dr. Bourne injected himself with drugs.


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6 Responses to Update on Coroner’s investigation on Bourne

  1. kaat January 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    It is unfortunate that Dr. Bourne’s friend wrote an article in The Sheet newspaper this week giving the exact “recipe” that Dr. Bourne used to take his own life….is that really something that should be made public ? Additionally, the article all but “romanticizes” the imagined moments leading up to the final moments of his life….and again portrays Dr. Bourne as having no other choice but to end it all.

    I really believe that some adults in our society forget about children and the impact that adult words have on the thinking and behavior of young people…..we need to be aware that kids are looking and listening and learning from adults, whether we want them to or not….given that, as we adults try to understand Dr. Bourne taking his own life, let’s not forget that the children look to us to help them understand….and by putting out into the public arena that Dr. Bourne all but had no choice but to kill himself and to talk about the “beautiful tragic drama” leading to the “end” and the “recipe” he used to end his life….what are we “telling” the kids in our community and beyond…..we need not paint a picture for young people that leads them to possibly believe that love ones will hold them up high after they kill themselves…we need to tell young people that we hold them up high when they over come the difficulties of their lives, when the don’t give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is something to aspire to – live through what pains you – to get to the other side of the difficulty – no matter what!

    Again, suicide is never, never the answer….it isn’t something anyone needs to consider.. as the love of those around you is stronger than you can imagine in your darker moments…

    • beenthere January 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      This is so tragic on so many levels for so many families….but suicide, when all is said and done, is the selfish act of a coward, leaving all (including kids, parents, spouses, friends…) that are left behind to wonder wtf… forever.

  2. Jake January 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    You need to go back re read what was wrote… it said it was to bad Andy could not hold on the tide was going to turn. At this point everyone needs to slow down and reach out to other who are hurting. Seem we blow off people in pain over on selfish lives. So sad

  3. so sad January 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Your point is well taken kaat, but I found the article beautifully written, and it helps those of us who knew, respected and loved Dr. Bourne to try to make sense of how such a thing could happen. I only speak for myself, my family and friends who were very much moved by this article and yearning to see these words. Others may react differently. Certainly suicide is never the solution, I agree.

  4. Grrrr! January 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I, too, thought the article was well written. I do not know the Bourne families but my heart goes out to each and everyone of them.
    I am so thankful that he didn’t physically harm or kill his family

    • Chris January 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      I appreciate Kaat’s concern for the messages we send to our youth–it obviously comes from a place of caring and concern.

      Unfortunately, people do choose suicide. One of my classmates from high school took her life on Jan 23rd of this year. She knew she was loved, and even said so in her final written words.

      Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds in the United States. Saying things like “never never” and “no matter what” are ineffective at preventing suicide. It also doesn’t work for substance abuse. Or drunk driving. Or preventing pregnancy.

      My point is not to criticize Kaat, but I would like to underscore that the only real chance you have of reaching youth is constant, open communication that deals with the REALITY of the world around them. They are smart, they think and feel in nuanced ways. You have to acknowledge that people DO choose suicide before you can talk about it effectively. You can’t simply make it a taboo–that’s exactly what drives it into the dark reaches where young people feel they can’t or shouldn’t talk about what they are feeling because those feelings are already clearly forbidden.

      The whole conversation has to be against a backdrop of genuine caring that the young person already FEELS. Words alone, however well timed, are rarely enough if the person doesn’t feel a genuine bond of caring. The bottom line is that caring and communication is a full time job for everyone who cares about the young people around them–not just their own kids, but all the kids.

      And still it can all fail, because this is the nature of life.


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