A Miami Dade Police Department investigation is underway into an apparent suicide that occurred this morning at Gables Ponce apartments at 4557 Ponce De Leon Blvd in Coral Gables. Police notified the University of Miami’s administration that it was not a UM student, according to Margot Winick, UM assistant vice president of Media Relations. The apartments have become a popular off-campus housing option for UM students since it opened in July of 2013.
Witness Nick Carra, a senior broadcast journalism major at UM, said that the victim appeared to be a male who was “18 or 19,” and that the incident happened around 10:30 a.m.
“I was at my girlfriend’s apartment and someone was out on the balcony and they said, ‘Oh my god, is this real?’ I went out and saw the cops downstairs and a body bag, so I thought someone had died. Then I saw the body hanging from a sixth floor balcony. It dropped down to the fifth,” where Carra said the body stayed. “It was scarring. It’s something I can never unsee.”
Winick added that the university reminds all students that the counseling center on campus is open for anyone seeking help. The counseling center can be reached at 305-284-5511.
According to Emory University, the suicide rate is between 0.5 and 7.5 per 100,000 among college students, and there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year.