Woman Falls to Her Death at Ohio State Graduation

Death of student's mother is being investigated as apparent suicide, according to coroner's office
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2024 6:31 PM CDT
Graduation Ceremony Death Investigated as Apparent Suicide
Ohio State University's football stadium in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)

A woman who fell from the stands to her death during a graduation ceremony at Ohio State University last weekend has been identified as a Georgia resident, authorities announced Tuesday. The Franklin County Coroner's Office said Larissa Brady, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene just outside Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sunday. The Columbus Dispatch, citing coroner documents, reports that the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide.

An investigation continues into how Brady fell from the stadium, which the school says is 136 feet tall, to the pavement below. However, Ohio State police do not suspect foul play and believe the fall was not accidental, university spokesperson Ben Johnson said Tuesday. It happened around midday, near the stadium's Bell Tower, as the last graduates were filing into the stadium. According to the coroner's office, Brady entered the stadium with her husband and 12-year-old son but they lost sight of her after she said she wanted to move higher. The coroner's office said Brady had mental health issues and had attempted suicide twice before, the Dispatch reports.

According to the commencement program, Brady's daughter was among those graduating. The commencement continued without mention of what happened, but some students and others at the ceremony were visibly upset after the fall, the AP reports. A spokesman said the university has contacted all graduates and staff who volunteered at graduation to offer counseling services.

If you or someone you know needs help, the national suicide and crisis lifeline in the US is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at 988lifeline.org.

(More Ohio State University stories.)

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