LA County Coroner’s Office Withdraws Robert Fuller Suicide Ruling As Investigation Begins

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
Robert Full
Screengrab of Robert Fuller via GoFundMe

The victim has been identified by family members as Robert Fuller.

A Black man in his 20s was found hanging from a tree Wednesday in a park in Palmdale, CA.

In a report from The Antelope Valley Times, the young man — who has since been identified by family members as Robert Fuller — was found around 4 am with a rope around his neck, hanging from a tree in Poncitlan Square. Poncitlan Square is near Palmdale City Hall.

Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau said that “All indicators point to a suicide” for Fuller’s death, “but investigators are waiting for full autopsy results and information from the man’s next of kin regarding past issues with mental illness.”

Palmdale City officials released a statement Thursday regarding Fuller’s death, extending “sincere condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the individual who tragically passed away in Palmdale…Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

“Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” city officials said in the statement.

City Manager J.J. Murphy also addressed Fuller’s death in a separate report from the Antelope Valley Press, saying: “My first concern is with this individual, his family members, and anybody else out there in our community who is at wit’s end.”

A GoFundMe has since been made for Fuller by Diamond Alexander, a family member of Fuller’s.

“Words can’t describe how my family is feeling,” Alexander wrote in the GoFundMe. “We grew up there in the Antelope Valley, we have so many friends, families that loved Robert. Please help with whatever you can. We greatly appreciate everyone. Thank you for standing with us during this difficult time.”

Since then, the LA County Coroner’s office “has withdrawn their initial preliminary assessment of death by suicide as the cause of Robert Fuller’s death,” according to a statement from the City of Palmdale. The city then released another statement saying State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the FBI-Civil Rights division would be joining the LA Sheriff’s Department in investigating Fuller’s death.

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