Volume 47, Number 12 - February 16, 2010

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Lazaro Gamio
Lazaro Gamio
Managing Editor

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City of Miami police officers rush to the scene. Photos by Andrea Orellana.

Woman commits suicide at Wolfson Campus

By Lazaro Gamio

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Police officers contemplate the scene.

A 53-year-old Miami woman jumped to her death from the fifth floor of building one at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus on Feb. 2, according to City of Miami Police officials.

The incident happened shortly after 11:30 a.m.

Ana Gloria Castillo-Hurtado was transported to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, according to a City of Miami Police incident report.

Kenia Reyes, a City of Miami Police Department spokesperson said the incident has been ruled a suicide.

It is unclear why the woman jumped.

In an e-mail sent to staff, students and faculty, Wolfson Campus President, Mercedes A. Quiroga, said the victim was “neither a student or employee”of Miami Dade College.

The incident disrupted the campus for nearly two hours.

A portion of the building where the incident happened was blocked off by yellow tape.

No one was allowed to use the escalators shortly after the incident, and security guards were stationed on every floor of building one. When some people tried to look down to see what had occurred below, they were instructed by security to stay away from the ledge.

But some folks witnessed the incident.

Maria Ángel, 51, was visiting the community education department when the incident happened. She was a few yards away from where the woman’s body landed.

“It sounded like an explosion, very loud,” Ángel said. “It sounded like an elevator had fallen.” Ángel said she saw an MDC staff member cover the woman’s face with a sweater shortly after the incident.

Police arrived on the scene within two minutes, and fire rescue officials arrived within five minutes, Ángel said.

Counseling was offered at the Wolfson Campus to all faculty, staff, and students, Quiroga said.

Erin MacInnes, director of the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention said people should educate themselves so they can better recognize the signs of mental illness and the risk of suicide.

“We all need to be looking out for our family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues and be willing to put the time and effort into being involved in each other’s lives,” MacInnes said. “Get familiar with your local community resources such as counselors, crisis centers, churches, or after school programs so you’ll be able to assist people in linking to the appropriate services.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.