Children playing in the woods find body of missing Maine teacher, suicide confirmed
According to her husband, the couple went to bed by about 8 p.m. on September 30 but she was not there when he woke up on October 1
Reports have confirmed that the missing elementary school teacher from Maine, who disappeared last week from her home, was found dead on the afternoon of October 5 after she took her own life. According to the authorities, children who had been playing in the woods near Kristin Westra's home were the ones who discovered her remains.
A statement from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office revealed a post-mortem examination was performed on the 47-year-old's body over the weekend and it confirmed that she died by suicide. The mother-of-two vanished from her home late on September 30 or early on October 1. Her body was found by the children deep in the woods behind her home in North Yarmouth.
PEOPLE reported that according to Jay Westra, her husband, the couple had gone to bed by about 8 pm on September 30 but Kristin, who was a teacher at Chebeague Island School, was not there when he woke up on October 1 and her phone, car, and keys had been in the home. Jay immediately reported her as missing after this.
The authorities had been looking for the mother and teacher since then and even used drones and multiple canine units to find her. Kristin's relatives told reporters she had some issues with anxiety and stress before she went missing but Eric Rohrbach, her brother, told ABC News that "the thought of her doing this to her family is completely out of the norm". Rohrbach told the Press Herald in an interview previously that both his sister's home and the school are currently undergoing major renovations.
Speaking of her family, he said: "[They] don’t have a place to relax. They were, like, eating dinner in the garage. Kristin is someone who likes to come home and curl up with a book, and she couldn’t do that." Jay spoke to his wife in an interview with NBC News on October 3 night saying: "There’s nothing — there’s no problem, no embarrassment, no obstacle, that can’t be overcome when you come back." He also said in the interview that the morning before his wife disappeared, she "was experiencing what I would call some anxiety and she expressed that she had some sleepless nights and was worried".
A friend of Kristin's, who is a nurse practitioner, went to evaluate her and did not find anything to be concerned about, according to Jay, who said that the rest of the day had been normal. He said in the NBC interview only two days before his wife's body was found: "We’ve always taken care of everything, we’ve solved every problem. We’re a team, we will be a team, your daughter loves you, your friends love you, your parents love you, your brother and sister-in-law love you, aunts and uncles, everybody wants you back."
According to the Press Herald, Kristin's memorial service is scheduled to be held on October 20. She is survived by her husband, a daughter, and a stepson.
Experts say some of the common warning signs for suicide include talking about the urge to die or feeling anxiety or hopelessness like there is a heavy burden, or feeling trapped or in pain; becoming reclusive and withdrawing from those around; extreme mood swings that includes anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns that includes sleeping too little or too much.
Please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seek help from a professional if you or anyone you know shows warning signs of suicide