EDITOR’S NOTE: The Monroe County Sheriff Department discovered that the man was not trying to throw the woman off of the cliff, but rather the woman was trying to keep the man from jumping. This information was not included in the initial release.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A man attempted to throw a woman off a cliff at Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve in Bloomington then, in a whirlwind of events, he ends up jumping off the cliff in what deputies believe to be a mental health crisis, according to the Monroe County Sheriff Department.
Deputies were contacted on April 10 at approximately 6 p.m. regarding a, ‘Mental Health In Progress Call,” that notified the deputies of a text that said, “people are going to find him at the bottom of Cedar Bluff.” The unidentified caller said that they did not want deputies to go to the nature preserve out of fear that it would escalate the situation and that they would call back later if more assistance was needed.
At approximately 7:06 p.m. Monroe County deputies were dispatched to 8484 S Ketcham Rd. to a call saying that there was a body at the bottom of the cliffs at Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve. However, when officers arrived they were unable to find a body. While searching the area, they located two people on top of a cliff, near the edge, involved in a physical altercation.
Initially, deputies reported that it appeared the man was attempting to throw the woman off the cliff. Later, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department discovered that the woman was actually attempting to stop the man from jumping.
Deputies and fire crews then wrestled the suspect, David Howard, to the ground and handcuffed him. According to deputies, he was restrained, cooperative and quiet for approximately 13 minutes. until he said, “you were supposed to carry me out of here.” It was then determined that Howard needed to be escorted to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation.
While preparing to transport Howard to the patrol car, he quickly rotated to the right and forcefully pulled away from deputies and ran towards the cliff. A deputy grabbed his arm in an attempt to control Howard, but it was then that he escaped the deputies and jumped off the cliff.
It was later determined that Howard made the call telling dispatch that there was a body at the bottom of the cliff.
Despite medical personnel being on the scene, Howard died from his injuries. The preliminary cause of death was listed as blunt force injuries with the manner of death listed as suicide by a forensic pathologist.
This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be added as it becomes available.