Plano police investigate possible suicide pact between teens

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Students described classmates Ritu Sachdeva and Hillary Kuizon, both 17, as good students. (KTRK)

In Texas, students at Plano East High School are dealing with the shock of two suicides over the weekend.

Police are investigating whether the deaths of the two girls were part of a suicide pact.

They were by all accounts just normal teens neither troubled.

"They were good students, always on time, always kept their grades up," student Christian Lewis says.

Nor trouble makers.

So the haunting mystery now is why would two 17-year-old Plano East students take their own lives?

"The thing I learned is that if love could keep someone alive, they would never have killed themselves," says Jenyce Gush of the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas. "Because it's not about love. It's not about something someone said or did."

Gush has helped families for decades navigate the guilt and grief, having traveled that same road when a younger brother took his life.

"My heart goes out to these families, and I would say, be gentle with yourself," Gush says. "You've done nothing wrong."

According to Murphy Police, 17-year-old Ritu Sachdeva was found dead in the family home.

A preliminary autopsy lists the cause of death as multiple medications.

A woman who identified herself as Sachdeva's sister took to Facebook to share her grief, writing "she was so bright, beautiful, quirky, and just all around amazing. Nothing could have prepared me for this. Our family and friends are devastated."

Hours later, police discovered the body of 17-year-old Hillary Kate Kuizon hanging in a wooded area that's not far from Kimbrough Stadium.

"I don't know what the school can do, or anyone else can do to prevent stuff like this really," student Praharsha Sunkara says. "But I really think that just talking about it would help."

Experts say 16 percent of Texas High Schoolers have considered suicide, so it's important to talk to them about what they're feeling.

Gush says it's also important to keep supporting these grieving families, even with an awkward, uncomfortable topic.

"I think that's why a lot of times friends withdraw," Gush says. "I think it's contagious and people think it will never happen to me...until it does."

More than 100 people met with grief counselors on the Plano East campus over the weekend.

Anyone contemplating suicide or dealing with the suicide death of someone they know is encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

That number is 800-273-TALK.

Related Topics:
suicidehigh schooltexas newsteenTexas
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