A devastating double suicide of a teen couple has shaken an Ohio community to its core. Markeice “Mari” Brown and Mercedes Shaday Smith were a young couple in love. According to Brown's Facebook page, the two were expecting a child together.
Although the couple appeared happy together, the two would often have talks about depression and ending their own life. Smith, a freshman at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky, committed suicide in her dorm room on April 20, reported Columbia Magazine.
"We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mercedes," said Lindsey Wilson president William T. Luckey Jr. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and teammates and the entire LWC community during this incredibly difficult time."
After Smith's suicide, Brown became the target of cyber bullying and harassment. Several of Smith's friends believed her boyfriend was behind her suicide, and they blamed him for driving her to take her own life.
Two days after his girlfriend ended her life, Brown posted a suicide note to Facebook, along with a Facebook Live video. The 20-year-old then ended his own life, although details of the cause of death have not yet been released.
In the eight-minute-long video, Brown admitted he could no longer take the harassment and blame for his girlfriend's death.
“I don’t know what to say, but I love all y’all, real talk,” Brown tearfully said in the video. “I’m tired of being the blame for her death. I just can’t do it no more.”
The couple's suicide has inspired many conversations surrounding mental health, depression, and suicide in youth. This story made many people realize that young people will often try to deal with their own issues instead of seeking appropriate help.
Images of the couple have been shared over Facebook as a way to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
Brown's last post on Facebook has received more than 2,000 comments from grief-stricken friends and family.
Suicide is preventable. If you or someone you know has had thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) for 24/7, free and confidential support.
*Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the age of Markeice Brown as 17. Brown was 20 years old at the time of his death.
(Photo: Artur Borzecki Photography/Getty Images)