Body found near Mall of America parking ramp

6:28 AM, Mar 10, 2010   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The body of a man has been found near a parking ramp at the Mall of America, and authorities say they believe he fell to his death.

Bloomington police say shortly after 8 p.m. the man went inside the west parking ramp and fell to the pavement.  It's not known if it was a suicide attempt.  Police are ruling it as a death investigation for now.

"One method of suicide is jumping off high places," Director of Mental Health Gary Christenson said, from the University of Minnesota.

A week ago, another man died after he jumped from the seventh level of the east parking ramp at the mall. Authorities say he was fleeing police when he drove through a barricade, drove up to the seventh level, then got out of his vehicle and jumped.

Christenson believes both incidents may be a coincidence.  He added giving the person a chance to think twice about what they're about to do, may save their life.

"Some locations have put phones on bridges and other locations for people to call, to give people the opportunity to think before committing suicide," Christenson said.

Police say that suicides at the Mall of America are rare and there are no fences or phones set up in the parking ramps.  As of right now, there's no plan to do so.

"Most people experiencing suicidal thoughts are at a point of ambivalence, that life may not be worth living," Christenson said.

There's life after the thought of suicide and it starts with a simple phone call.

"People with suicidal thoughts are afraid they'll get thrown into a hospital and that may not be the case," Christenson said.  "Hotlines are annoymous, a person can call and have a discussion."

If you or someone you know may be suicidal, check suicidehotlines.com/Minnesota, there's a list of phone numbers associated with Minnesota towns.  A popular local organization is Crisis Connection Minnesota.  Their Web site is crisis.org.

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