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Sad New Details Released About The Death Of Maine Teacher Kristin Westra

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How Did Kristin Westra Die? Details Maine Teacher Missing Committed Suicide

Last week, police, volunteers and K9 units searched relentlessly for Kristin Westra, the missing Maine teacher who mysteriously vanished from her home on the night of Sept. 30. On Friday afternoon, search efforts ceased when children discovered a body in the woods near the Westra home in North Yarmouth.

While authorities initially could not confirm nor deny that the body belonged to Westra at first, her husband, Jay, posted a picture of himself with his wife on Facebook with the caption, “my heart was crushed today.”

The body was later confirmed to be that of Kristin Westra.​

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According to the New York Post, the state medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy on Sunday, determining both the identity of the body and the cause of death. Shocking Westra’s loved ones, the autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was suicide.

The manner has yet to be released to the public.

Kristin’s brother, Eric Rohrbach, was outspoken amidst the search process.

He told ABC News that she was anxious and having some trouble sleeping in the days and weeks leading up to her disappearance, which may have been due in part to ongoing renovations to the family’s home that impeded their ability to live life normally.

“The thought of her doing this to her family is completely out of the norm,” he said of her initial disappearance, which showed no signs of a struggle or forced entry.

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In fact, the only thing missing besides Kristin herself was a pair of shoes. She left her keys, purse and cell phone behind. When her husband woke up around 3:30 A.M. to find that she wasn’t in the bedroom with him, he assumed that she had trouble falling asleep and decided to try falling asleep elsewhere in the house.

People reported that Jay Westra had sought the help of a clinical nurse practitioner for his wife the morning before her disappearance.

“She was experiencing what I would call anxiety and she expressed that she had some sleepless nights and was worried,” Jay said in an interview shortly after she disappeared. The nurse practitioner evaluated Kristin but ultimately determined that she did not pose a risk to herself or others.

In the days leading up to the discovery of her body, Jay pleaded with his wife in interviews to come back, that they could solve any problem together.

“We’re a team, we will be a team, your daughter loves you, your friends love you, your parents love you, your brother and sister-in-law love you, aunts and uncles, everybody wants you back,” he said to NBC.

Kristin Westra is survived by her husband, brother, daughter, and step-son. She was beloved by her students and fellow staff at Chebeague Island School. Her memorial service will be held on October 20.

While it can be difficult to spot someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it is important to reach out to friends and family who seem to be struggling with unusual hopelessness, anxiety, social withdrawal or abnormal sleeping patterns (among other signs).

If someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, it is important to reach out to them. Professional help is essential in treating these thoughts. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK, or you can text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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Emily is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She covers politics, feminism, and psychology.