August 27, 2009

Ithaca Police Release Identity of Female Gorge Suicide Victim

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Cornell Police found a deceased female at the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge the afternoon of June 26 after receiving a call from a witness saying that a woman had jumped into the gorge from the fence next to the Suspension Bridge. Members of the Ithaca Police Department, Cornell Police Department, Ithaca Fire Department and Bangs Ambulance responded to the incident.
Lisa Longwell, a white female of “medium to heavy build, blond shoulder length hair” was “wearing khaki style pants, white top and gold rimmed glasses,” according to a witness report in a police report obtained by The Sun. Police found her carrying cigarettes, a broken watch and a note, according to the police report. A map and purse were found in her car.
While witnesses tried to direct Longwell away from the edge, their efforts were to no avail.
Longwell’s body was removed at approximately 4 p.m. As a result of the “rough terrain” near the side of the gorge, “members of the Ithaca Fire Department rappelled into the gorge [to] retrieve the body,” according to a statement issued by the IPD.
When asked about the incident, Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell University Press Relations, responded that he had no information to offer. “The whole investigation is being handled entirely by the Ithaca Police Department.”
Last fall, Sharon Dittman, associate director of community relations for Gannett, told The Sun that Cornell’s suicide rate is in keeping with the national average for higher education, which is seven per 100,000 students per year. However, there was no indication that Longwell was a Cornell student.
For those upset by the situation and seeking counseling, Gannett’s counseling services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To get in touch with a crisis manager, students should contact Cornell Police at 607-255-1111. Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the IPD at 607-272-9973.