Minneapolis police on Monday confirmed video evidence shows missing University of Minnesota student and Pi Beta Phi sorority member Jennifer Houle went into the Mississippi River from the 10th Avenue Bridge early Friday morning. The Hennepin County sheriff's office has been called in for a water recovery effort.
Houle, 22, had last been seen by friends at the Blarney Pub in Dinkytown sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday, March 27. Police said no suspects are being sought.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the Houle family and all of Jennifer's many friends," Minneapolis police said in a statement. "The Minneapolis Police Department and the family of Jennifer Houle wish to thank the many people who provided support, assistance, and information since Jennifer's disappearance. The Houle family has requested privacy at this difficult time."
STILL MISSING – 10-year-old Barway Collins of Crystal, Minn.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the news about Jennifer Houle, a Carlson School of Management student and Pi Beta Phi sorority member, who has been missing since Friday, March 27," the University of Minnesota said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with her family, friends, classmates, and sorority sisters.
The university is continuing to offer counseling and support to any students, faculty and staff at Boynton Health Service and University Counseling and Consulting Services. Specific services are available to the sister of Pi Beta Phi and Carlson classmates.
Minneapolis police are not declaring this case a suicide, as Jennifer Houle has not been recovered from the river and any information of the cause or manner of death would be released by the Hennepin County medical examiner.
Warning signs of suicidal behaviors
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. The hotline has trained staff available 24/7 to help those in crisis. Everyone can play a role in preventing suicide by being aware of the warning signs of suicidal behaviors:
- Talking about wanting to die; feeling hopeless, trapped, or in unbearable pain, being a burden to others
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
What you can do
If you believe someone is at risk of suicide:
- Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their heads, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.);
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255);
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional;
- Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and
- If possible, do not leave the person alone.