Searcy couple shares son's suicide story to raise awareness

Searcy couple shares story of son's suicide

SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- A Searcy couple is starting a non-profit organization to shed light on suicide, just a month after their son took his life.

September 29 was a day that changed Jeremy and Jennifer James’ lives forever.

“Jennifer woke up first and noticed that Jesse was not in his bed,” Jeremey said.

The couple called police and started searching for their 14-year-old son, Jesse James.

“Initially he was missing until I found searched his backpack and found his journal,” Jennifer said.

That's when they said they knew they would be searching for his body instead. 

“It said “the end” at the beginning of it and it told us what he was going to do. It wasn't a cry for help or missing child at that point,” Jeremey said.

Jesse's body was found about a mile behind the James's house, at a pond where he had shot himself.

“He was being, antagonized were his words, antagonized and used and milked and overrun by other people at school,” Jeremy said.

“There was cyberbullying that was going on as well. From people who are from no telling where,” Jennifer said.

The couple said they want to use their loss to try to help other families. November 4 they're hosting a fundraiser at the fairgrounds in Searcy to raise money and bring awareness to suicide.

“We have about ten bands that are going to come and play. It's free admission. And we've got a lot of sponsors that we've raised a lot of money for a foundation we've started, it's called the Jesse Dylan James Foundation. We're going to send one high school band member to college,” Jeremy said.

They said the process is hard, but they're getting through it with the help of family, friends and fond memories.

“There's a spot where Jesse laid down that I like to go fishing now. That's one way for me to kind of get through this is to go out there and go fishing and talk to him. We named it Jesse's spot and we talk to him,” the couple said.

The couple said they hope they can partner with Searcy schools to share their story. They would like to help raise money to bring in speakers or start programs to help with bullying. They also want to educate students about suicide.

Here’s a link to Saturday’s fundraiser event. For a link to the Jesse Dylan James Foundation Facebook page, click here.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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