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Why did Daniel Lomtevas jump to his death? Posts suicide note on reddit hours before

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Daniel Lomtevas
Pictured, Daniel Lomtevas.
Daniel Lomtevas
Pictured, Daniel Lomtevas.

Daniel Lomtevas suicide death: To what degree did a seemingly normal family dynamic albeit unawares one, lead to one Brooklyn teen taking his own life?

Daniel Lomtevas a 17 year old Brooklyn teen has died after jumping to his death off the George Washington Bridge, hours after posting a suicide note on Reddit titled, ‘In a few hours, I will be dead.’

The teen’s death comes despite efforts by law enforcement authorities to save the suicidal boy who’d been struggling with depression.

According to a report via silive, Lomvetas was spotted on the bridge by Port Authority officers in Brooklyn just before 7am Wednesday.

Whilst one of the officer’s managed to grab the teen, Lomvetas at the last minute was able to escape the agent’s grip, where he then leaped into the water.

Despite being rushed to hospital, the teen died from his injuries about an hour later.

In his suicidal note, Lomtevas, a high school graduate had talked of going to medical school, along with revealing suffering from anxiety attacks his entire life. 

Daniel Lomtevas
Pictured, Daniel Lomtevas via facebook.

According to the New York Daily News who’d been able to obtain the teen’s suicidal note, Lomvetas wrote: ‘I went all throughout middle school and high school absolutely terrified of social contact,’

‘That is 12 whole f*****g years out of my life in isolation and despair.’ 

In his note, the teen writes that his parents never knew about his struggles with depression, saying they were ‘excellent’ people who ‘only wanted the best for me’. 

‘Did I ever tell them that I spent most classes in the back of the room, convulsing with anxiety attacks? No’, he wrote. 

Vera Lomtevas said she only found out about her son’s troubles in August. She believes they were linked to his struggle with transitioning from private to public school.

Wednesday’s suicide comes after the teen had tried killing himself previously on August 22 where at the time he left his parents a four-page suicide note. 

Daniel Lomtevas
Pictured, Daniel Lomtevas with his brother and mother, Vera.

At the time, the teen according to a report via New York Post the rode his bike to the foot of the Verazzano Bridge, which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn, but was caught before he could jump.

The incident led to parents, Vera and Peter Lomtevas trying to get their son help.

At one point the teen was committed to a psychiatric ward for three days but was then released. 

They struggled to find him a psychiatrist. Daniel was finally given an appointment on September 24, but did not divulge his suicidal thoughts. 

‘He was hiding it,’ Vera said. ‘He wanted to end his suffering.’ 

In his note, Daniel said he didn’t blame his parents for not taking him to a psychiatrist ‘years ago’, conceding that he seemed perfectly fine on the surface. 

‘I was making excellent grades. Honor societies, scholarships, the whole nine yards,’ he wrote. 

‘That’s really all a parent could want from their child, right?’ 

Daniel Lomtevas
Daniel Lomtevas facebook. Were the warning signs there all along?

Daniel was accepted into Brooklyn College this year and had earned a Regents diploma.

His father described him as a ‘completely normal boy’.  But his depression, anxiety and eventual suicide has ‘blindsided’ his parents. 

On the day of his suicidal death, Daniel Lomtevas slipped out of home at 4am with the boy’s disconcerted parents calling police as they began tracking their son’s location using the Find My iPhone feature. 

Yet according to the mother, Vera claims police didn’t do nearly enough to thwart her son’s suicide, saying she didn’t understand why there were six police officers at her home when the family knew where the teen was headed.

‘We were telling them the exact blocks he was on and they only had two officers and one vehicle at the bridge?’ she said. ‘We had all forewarned them.’ 

The NYPD said it received the family’s 911 call 22 minutes before Daniel committed suicide.  

The Port Authority officer who spotted Daniel immediately stopped her patrol car and chased after the teen, halting vehicle traffic as she tried to catch him.

Daniel was the ninth person this year to jump from the bridge. Authorities said they have successfully prevented 53 additional suicide attempts.

But Vera said their efforts weren’t enough to save her son. 

‘The medical professionals failed him, the police failed him,‘ she said. 

‘The whole system failed him.’ 

Who may have also failed Daniel Lomtevas were his parents, Vera and Peter Lomtevas. An admission had the parents come to terms with earlier may have led to their son still being alive today….

Daniel Lomtevas
Pictured, Daniel Lomtevas via Facebook.
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  • George

    Some people are just depressed. The parents aren’t always at fault for not seeing this. This boy sounds like he worked very hard to hide his crushing depression. it can be hereditary too. There are so many factors here but it’s unfair to blame this on the parents.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    At the month-and-a-half mark, the follicle drug toxicology came back negative. This means illegal drugs played no role in Danny’s suicidal ideations.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    After Dr. Kaminsky’s email, we began to look at what Danny was doing as symptoms of a disease, and suddenly various characteristics began to pop out. One example is we found candid photos (in his sister’s camera) of our son in a park where he was chomping on an apple and then holding his arms in a crucifix position overlooking a height but with the hands a bit higher than his head. We also found a human model he kept in his room in a similar pose. At the time we thought nothing of it: he was sunning himself in a park with his sister. However, now we see this was part of a broad range of behaviors that predicted his death. We are working on a complete listing.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    As we approach the one month mark after Danny’s death, we received the following from a genetic researcher about how a certain gene can be influenced by the environment to lead to suicide.

    Dear Peter,

    I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story and for the article below. I read it sadly and am sure I cannot begin to understand the impact it has had on you as parents. Sadly, your’s is one of hundreds of similar e-mails I have gotten from parents since our SKA2 discovery in 2014 came out. I am afraid at this point, the only thing I can actually offer is to discuss the science behind our findings and suicide in general. Currently, we can’t legally use SKA2 as a clinical diagnostic as we haven’t yet performed any FDA regulatory studies. I have been working towards this goal so that my answer to parents like yourself may eventually be different, but for the time being, I can’t provide genetic or epigenetic testing in that regard. That being said, I have just formed a startup company from which I may eventually be able to offer something like this and will let you know if we get there.

    It strikes me as typical for the media to label someone who is suicidal as depressed, but of course this is often a conflation of the two terms. Anxiety has been shown to be highly associated with suicidality, perhaps more so than depression, which seems consistent with what was mentioned in that article you sent.

    In terms of SKA2, we found an increase in an epigenetic mark called DNA methylation in the gene. DNA methylation acts like a light switch to increase or decrease gene levels, and in suicidal individuals, SKA2 appears to be reduced. This is important because we believe SKA2 acts in a system that is important for shutting down the normal stress response. Suicidal individuals may be vulnerable to suicide because, under normal circumstances, stress is managed fine, but then with stressors, a lower level of the gene is like having a faulty brake pad in a car that can’t turn off the stress. Factors that we’ve found to interact with SKA2 include anxiety as well as social isolation, so these could represent some of the stressors, for example. Thus, it is biological vulnerability meets environmental stressors to confer risk. That is the ‘stress diathesis’ model of suicide and has a lot of scientific weight behind it. SKA2 merely fits in nicely with this existent model. We believe that alteration of the stress system may lead to alterations in brain connectivity in frontal areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling impulses and decision making such that this region may get damped down, while fear and anxiety centers get ramped up. Our data to this effect in terms of SKA2’s influence on these is new and only preliminary, but I am speculating simply for your information.

    Importantly, while there is a genetic component to our finding, the epigenetic component may or may not be inherited. We don’t know, but epigenetic marks like DNA methylation are not necessarily inherited. They can be ‘put there’ by the environment as well. At this point, we just can’t say if familial suicide risk (which most certainly has been demonstrated epidemiologically) is mediated by SKA2 or not. What is probably most definitely the case is that, whether it be SKA2 or not, there will most likely be a biological reason why your son was suicidal. I don’t know if that helps at all, but yes, there are biological endophenotypes (biological characteristics like the brain activity patterns I mentioned) that are associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. I mention this because so many parents that get in touch with me are looking for a reason why their children have died. Many of them want SKA2 to be the reason. What I’m saying is that such a reason most likely exists. There is a biology to mental illness and it is not merely ‘in someone’s head’. I don’t know if that helps at all, but believe it to be true.

    I wish you the best in getting through this difficult time and once again, I am very sorry for your loss. Please let me know if you have additional questions about anything I’ve said or would like to discuss anything further.

    Warm regards,

    Zach

  • Peter Lomtevas

    This is Danny’s suicide note from August 22, 2016 when he was on no psychotropics. This text box does not allow either underlining or strikethroughs, but I am transcribing it as accurately as I can from Danny’s handwritten original. Here goes:

    1

    Suicide notes seem so awfully tacky, cliché, and so much unlike me that it took me a while to decide to write one. I thought the spontaneity of a cheesy one liner would be more my style. However, the confusion racked up in the past 17 years, especially within the past couple of days, definitely merited an explanation. Truthfully, all that hubbub about college was more about me realizing how my life is going nowhere. I do not have the motivation, drive, courage and/or strength to know what the hell is even happening around me when someone else isn’t there to tell me what to do and when to do it. That’s not something that can be fixed over the course of however the fuck long I feel like saying. Christ.
    I don’t know. I guess I was just a loony the entire time. Merely waiting for when it comes time to put me away in a funny farm. I know that people like that just can’t be fixed and I’d hate to feel more of a burden that I already do. I guess that I could’ve had the balls to stick with it for a few more years, but then I know what people who do that end up doing. Fuck, english is just completely failing me right now.
    I just got real tired of all the pity and making everyone worry. Sure, I must ‘ve looked real slick. I think back to these pictures, and even I just see a piteous wretch. I’m sick of that. I didn’t want anybody to worry, but if you keep bottling it up some things just leak out.

    2

    I know that it’s a real bad time to be doing something like this. All that money and energy poured into whatever that I turned out to be.

    So, just think of it as a bad investment.

    There’s really nothing else I want to have made known. That cheesy one-liner idea is suddenly better by the minute.

    Alright fine:

    -I don’t want you guys to worry about me anymore.
    -I don’t want to crash and burn even harder that I already did.
    -I’m sorry about the waterworks. I wish I grew the fuck up.

    -I’m sick of being Daniel.
    -I’m sick of having the health of an 80 year old.

    I guess it’s just characteristic of me to quit when things get too rocky.

    I just want to be forgotten. I want to wake up from this as if it were all just a bad dream.
    I fear that I’m going towards a respite that I haven’t earned.

    I want you guys to keep moving forward. I blame no one and want nobody to blame anyone but me. If you are asked who Daniel was, and you feel that you must give an answer, say that he loved the outdoors but could never participate.

    3

    But that’s just too short of a note for 17 years of love so …

    – I love each and everyone of you.

    -You will all turn out to be beautiful people now that I’m no longer weighing you down.

    – If you thought that this was a spur of the moment thing, I’ve actually been thinking of this for so many years. I just chose today because

    I don’t want you guys to be beside yourselves over things like, “I could’ve done X” or “I should’ve [not] said Y …” because it was really just Z: me. Z=me. I had so many chances and I’ve missed every single one of them.

    “Why didn’t you just get help?”: I’ve always prided myself on how far I’ve gotten without any substances. When I had to guzzle coffee just to stop being a zombie I was so crushed. If a doc had to shove 20 pills into me per day just so I could have a semblance of being normal then not even a strait jacket and a padded room could save me.

    We’re not at that point where mental health can be treated effectively.

    4

    “Why now and not before?” I realize I didn’t answer that. It’s because I finally have a legitimate reason. Before it was all about “I’m passing fifth grade algebra or I’m jumping off a bridge.” Now it’s “I’ve fucked up too many times and now it’s all rock bottom from here, might as well pull the plug.”

    I love you guys. I’d never known stress in my life. My only obligation was to get to class. My parents raised me well. I have zero excuse as to why I feel this way or how I’ve let myself fall this far.

    I want you guys to succeed. I know you can do it without me. No funerals, no memorials, no gossip. Cherish every time I was able to make you laugh, and then forget about me. Don’t do something as sappy and sentimental (like writing this note) like visiting me. I’m not there. Burn this note, burn every picture of me and move forward. We’ll all be forgotten someday and I prefer it sooner than later. Take a hammer to that damn computer; I was thinking of doing that.

    “You were so young! You could still have changed.”
    -I wouldn’t have.

    I’m so sorry your last memories of me are so depressing. I didn’t want you to know. I hoped to go out on a high note.

    Love you
    I was just too weak

  • Peter Lomtevas

    Yesterday, the medical examiner called us and said Danny’s toxicology was completely negative. She read down the drug listing and when she got to benzodiazipine, we called a ‘time out’. Benzo was prescribed to Danny (as Clonazepam’) on 10/1 with the prescription filed 10/3. He jumped 10/5. There cannot be any possibility of zero Clonazapam in his blood, urine and bile samples.

    A negative toxicology is impossible. Otherwise, this means the medical examiner’s office misrepresents each and every death that goes through its hands. Victims of drug abuse come out clean? This inconsistency with established facts mirrors police incompetence evident on 10/5 when they gawked at the technology behind iCloud yet never got word to where it mattered to stop Danny.

    Hence, we are accustomed to having incompetent, deadly government drawing salary and doing nothing. They cover their tracks and we are left the only blameworthy entity in all this. This is the reaction evident in Christopher’s article above. The question becomes how to educate in ineducable public?

  • Peter Lomtevas

    We got his iPhone from Port Authority police today. The last photo he took was the southern view from the eastern tower’s pedestrian walkway at 7:16am. Lieutenant Dan McCabe said they heard nothing except a radio call in the background about a suicider approaching. He said police fanned out and a female officer spotted Danny strolling on the walkway. A camera picked him up. She ran toward him across traffic. Dan placed his cell phone on the walkway and heaved over the railing. The cop grabbed him losing her cell phone in the struggle. She smashed her knee against the railing. Danny broke free and fell as she had to push herself up the railing to be able to stand up again on the walkway. She is off duty for a week with that knee injury.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    This was Danny’s Reddit suicide note in its entirety:

    In a few hours, I will be dead. [LONG]
    submitted X hours ago by [deleted]
    I’m so sorry everyone. I chose to put this on reddit because I wouldn’t have survived high school without this site. This site means a lot to me, even though I fucking hate it for taking up so much of my youth. Same thing with /r/hearthstone and /r/wow
    Really, I couldn’t have chosen a more peaceful night to go. I’m not afraid at all. I have a mix of benzos (20mg) & SNRIs (800 mg) with a gigantic ass bottle of diphenhydramine (1.5g) along with a couple shots of liquor to wash it all down. Obviously that isn’t gonna do shit to me other than make me trip balls and give me liver failure, hence the 400 foot fall.
    Please, get your kids checked for anxiety. I went all throughout middle school and high school absolutely terrified of social contact. That is 12 whole fucking years out of my life in isolation and despair. I had excellent parents who only wanted the best for me. Did I ever tell them that I spent most classes in the back of the room, convulsing with anxiety attacks? No. I couldn’t fucking talk to anyone except from behind a monitor. Does my psych really think that 20mg of Cymbalta is going to do a fucking thing about that? Does my therapist really think that nodding and saying “Yeah” ad nauseum, as I bawl my eyes out, will help a damn thing? Fuck how society handles mental health. Society’s reaction to people jumping off buildings is to build a high fence so those people will have to find another, more painful method.
    Look. Early detection is key. If your child refuses to stay in school any longer than he absolutely must has to, they need IMMEDIATE help. It’s healthy to have a joking aversion to school. It is not healthy to actively avoid even talking about it. I don’t blame my parents for not taking my ass to a psychiatrist years ago, because I was making excellent grades. Honors societies, scholarships, the whole nine yards. That’s really all a parent could ever want from their child, right? None of those fixes how fucking broken my mind is. None of those masks the fact that I have absolutely nothing to aspire to in life. I never developed a hobby, because all I would do is show up to school. Then leave to home as soon as my time was done. Then afterwards, I would spend 12 hours just playing fuckin’ videogames. And it ‘worked’ for me… academically. The only thing that surprises me is that I’m actually 140 pounds and 5’7″ despite having 0 physical activity for the majority of my life.
    As for all the people I know who had “broken” families, with parents who couldn’t give a shit if they lived or died tomorrow, I found that they turned into the most interesting people I have ever met. What a revelation it was for me to realize that success in school often doesn’t translate to fucking anything in life. Intelligence is not learned, nor can it be quantified by some bullshit standardized test.
    I admire the work that you guys volunteer to do here. Most of the time all it takes to save a forlorn soul from oblivion is a kind word. For me, it took looking down 200 feet to certain death. Now the only thing that could’ve stopped me is if my stomach were pumped a couple hours ago.
    Farewell! Isn’t it sad that my real note, my note to my family, will only be a couple of words?

    We have yet to find those ‘couple of words’ Danny was talking about.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    He hit the water chest down. His heart tore from its ventricular connections – or at least suffered shearing between the heart and vessels. This meant he died on impact. His lungs and stomach were almost entirely free of water. He had some hemorrhaging in his skull but this was minimal. Toxicology was done on urine, blood and bile. Biopsies were taken of his brain and liver. This information came from the medical examiner’s office, a Dr. Cederoth one week after his death.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    Please edit the approach you take against our family. It sounds as if family errors are presumed and there is no other possible explanation. I will post in detail what happened so that families can read this and perhaps save their child.

  • Dear Peter,

    Please keep at it, and do let us know what your research finds. Something is not making sense here and we ought to get to the bottom of it. That said my deepest condolences to you and your family and I hope you do realize being a blogger/journalist can at times be a damning task ….

    Christopher

  • Peter Lomtevas

    We had Danny’s funeral and burial yesterday. I counted 96 attendees.

    We are assembling members of our family and friends who are physicians and police to determine what had to happen given typical protocols. When we sue, we’ll obtain exactly what actually happened.

    City cops are tight-lipped and city doctors are not returning calls. The Port Authority detective is not returning either emails or phone calls.

    USAA hosted Danny’s bank account which he shared with his mom. As soon as we announced Danny’s death on 10/5, USAA suddenly blocked off his account. We discovered that USAA failed to process his signature card in 2008 and covered for its mistake on his date of death. It took half a day to get a rep to open up statements so we can piece together Danny’s purchases for the last few months.

  • Peter Lomtevas

    I write this on the eve of Daniel’s funeral. I am his father. I read this article here on scallywag and have to respond. I will try to do so objectively and respectfully to his memory.

    We just ordered toxicology via hair follicle harvesting by a forensic pathologist and the results will be back in several weeks. We took this step because we were stunned by the speed of Danny’s descent reasoning that such a drastic result must come because of a drastic cause. I’ll set that aside for a moment.

    Turning to the actual dates of the events leading up to this tragedy, we realize that Danny attended a party on 8/13 where whiskey/cinnamon ‘fireballs’ were served to him. No one knows the exact number of fireballs Danny consumed, but no matter that number, he was not resistant to alcohol because he was not an underaged drinker. What we do know rather well right now is that Danny passed out at that party and developed a fever. The attendees had to cool him down by giving him a cold shower. He was placed in a bed where a guard was established to ‘check his breathing’.

    After Danny returned home, he was a changed child. He attempted suicide on the Verrazano on 8/22. He spent three days in a psychiatric ward where he reasoned that he will never allow himself to ever return again. The psychiatrist prescribed no medication and Danny started college and made it to the 32-day mark.

    On September 24, a psychiatrist prescribed duloxetine. This drug deprived Danny of sleep until he went to the same psychiatrist on October 1 who prescribed clonazepam. The prescription was filled October 3 and Danny jumped off the bridge on October 5.

    Again: 8/13, 8/22, 9/24, 10/3 and death on 10/5.

    We are figuring out how this unfolded and we will inform the public.

  • Michael L

    Fuck you, Christopher. My parents are not the reason for Daniel’s death. I spent nearly every waking day this past summer with my brother, and not once had he revealed to me what he was going through. Not once. Because the news articles you read were directed by my parents does not mean that the only contact Daniel had with the outside world was through mom and dad. He had a tight-knit network of friends, family, teachers, and clergy. No one picked up on any of this. It’s easy to blame someone from behind a computer screen, I get it. But please try not to be such a cunt.