PORTLAND -- A La Grande teen who hanged himself died Sunday at OHSU after he was taken off life support earlier in the week. His family said he was the victim of bullying for being openly gay.
Jadin Bell, 15, a sophomore at La Grande High, was found hanging from playground equipment at a grade school two weeks ago.
He was rushed to the local hospital, then airlifted to Portland. He was taken off life supports and his family gathered at bedside before he died.
"This is not a rural epidemic. It's a nationwide epidemic from metro areas to rural areas. It is everyone," said Logan Lynn of Portland's Q Center.
It's not clear whether this case will prompt a police investigation. Lynn hopes it does.
The La Grande Observer reported that schoolmates organized a vigil last week for Jadin.
“We are overwhelmed. We are very thankful for all of the support,” Bud Hill of La Grande, a close friend of Bell’s family, told the Observer.
A parent, Candy Blackman, told the newspaper that Jadin always provided compliments to all when he first met them. He loved his role on the cheer team.
Family friend Jody Bullock told the Observer that as a child, Jadin would take steps to help an injured butterfly. The teen came over frequently to an assisted care center she runs to say hello to the residents.
Most teens fear seniors, she said. Not Jadin.
“He has a persona and a presence that you want to be a part of,” she said.