Fifty-five-year-old Karin Cheshire was distraught and inconsolable after her son Jay hung himself last year, following an alleged false rape accusation. Just days after the anniversary of his death, Karin committed suicide in the same manner.
Jay, 17, was considered bright and hardworking at his high school in Southampton, where he was specializing in English literature, film, and geography. According to friends and family, he aspired to one day become a writer or a history teacher.
Emotionally unstable from a young age, Jay had been seeing a psychiatrist since the age of 13. Some claim he seemed to be improving in his ability to cope with his mercurial mood swings until a young girl came forward and accused the A-level student of rape.
Though the alleged victim dropped her case just two weeks after the accusation, the shame and stress of the police investigation set Jay into a tailspin. On July 3, 2015, he was found dangling by a noose from a tree in a park near his Southampton home with a suicide note in his bag. He also left a similar suicide note in his school locker and his home.
As he was still alive when the paramedics got to him, he was rushed to a nearby hospital, only to expire two days later from injuries due to his suicide attempt.
“I got the impression he was well liked and mature in some ways, but was a sensitive young man and vulnerable in some respects,” said senior coroner Grahame Short to the Daily Echo about the apparent suicide. “He found it difficult to cope with the police investigation.”
After the suicide, his mother fell into a deep depression of which she never recovered. According to her brother, Simon Cheshire, she had spent the last year desperately trying to investigate the rape accusations against her son, which she insisted were completely false.
Simon described his sister as “vacant” and “zombie-like” in the days leading up to her suicide, according to Metro.
On July 18, the devastated mother was found dead in her home by asphyxiation, the same method of suicide her son had used to take his own life a year earlier.
“It came to the anniversary of Jay’s death and, sadly, although I almost expected her to do something, I’m shocked she actually took her life in the same fashion,” said Simon. “She just couldn’t see a future without Jay.”
Karin is survived by 21-year-old daughter Camellia, who is described as “numb” from having lost both a mother and a brother by suicide in such a close span of time.
Though the mother of two ended her life on a tragic note, friends and family claim she was very cheerful and outgoing before her son’s downward spiral that ultimately led to his suicide.
“She just never got over Jay’s death,” said Karin’s neighbor to the Telegraph. “She changed from being a chatty neighbor to someone who would be so isolated. I was very surprised by Jay’s death, but sadly I wasn’t so surprised by Karin’s.
News sources have not revealed the identity of Jay’s rape accuser nor any further information on the specifics of his accusation or why it was dropped just two weeks later. According to the Mirror, Hamshire police have taken no action against her for making false accusations.
Jay’s family, however, remains bitter. Karin’s brother Simon told the Metro he believed the police investigations set off the chain of suicides.
“We think the allegations tipped him over the edge,” said Simon. “He was a well-loved student, who was bright and caring, and for him to do something like that just didn’t make sense.”
“The anger I feel is that this girl and her mum have taken two lives with their allegations.”
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