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Sheriff: Man who burned to death committed suicide

Posted October 17, 2012

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— Authorities said Wednesday they believe a man who burned to death last weekend at the Bells Church Fishing Area at Jordan Lake killed himself.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner used dental records to identify the man as Siddarth Andagudi Prabhushankar, 23, of 4700 West Grove Tower, Raleigh.

The medical examiner concluded the death was a suicide, and the sheriff's office has closed the investigation, according to a statement from Chief Deputy Gary Blankenship.

People fishing off the pier told authorities that they saw a large flame and heard a scream in the upper parking lot at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. When they went to investigate, they found a man on fire, but they were unable to save him.

Witnesses said they didn't see anybody or any vehicles leaving the area at the time.

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  • btneast Oct 18, 2012

    Never in a million years will I believe this was intentional. To kill yourself you have to be fleeing physical or mental pain and if one is fleeing pain they would not pick a most painful way to end their current pain

    Self immolation is not that uncommon in eastern cultures.

  • btneast Oct 18, 2012

    I do not believe that this man set himself on fire.Police, do your job. Witnesses,come clean and tell the truth about what you saw. North Carolina has a lot of racism,especially around Greensboro and its surrounding area. This was a hate crime and I am 99% sure of that.

    This wasn't in the "Greensboro area". Why are you 99% sure it was a hate crime? Did you know the guy? Were you there?

  • dwallace9392 Oct 18, 2012

    I do not believe that this man set himself on fire.Police, do your job. Witnesses,come clean and tell the truth about what you saw. North Carolina has a lot of racism,especially around Greensboro and its surrounding area. This was a hate crime and I am 99% sure of that.

  • puzzled Oct 18, 2012

    Never in a million years will I believe this was intentional. To kill yourself you have to be fleeing physical or mental pain and if one is fleeing pain they would not pick a most painful way to end their current pain - in my opinion. Don't know what happened and never will, but!

  • question_why Oct 18, 2012

    I've heard of several suicides at Jordan Lake lately. I can't imagine the effects this has on the people discovering the bodies and puts a different spin on a relaxing day at the lake.

  • wolowitz Oct 18, 2012

    I wish they would release more information. I went to State with Siddu and have been friends with him since 2007. Although we hadn't spoken in a little while, this seems a little bit odd. Sid wasn't suicidal. Not from what I saw at least. All of this stuff on FB was upbeat and "normal". Rest in Peace, Siddu. You are greatly missed.

  • justcommonsense Oct 18, 2012

    @lisa4 - exaclty, there's not much detail at all in the story...I'm sure the Sheriff's dept has more information than what is presented to us and I'm ok with that

  • lisa4 Oct 18, 2012

    also - he must have been living here for a while - they had dental records to id the body. Is his family still here? Maybe they can shed some light on this.

  • lisa4 Oct 18, 2012

    There is not enough detail in what their investigation uncovered. Was there a gas can near by the body or maybe in a car this young man drove to Jordan Lake in? So sad - what an awful way to die. Prayers for this young man's family & loved ones.

  • justcommonsense Oct 18, 2012

    It could very well be self-immolation. A centuries old practice mostly practiced in Buddhism and Hinduism. A ritual of protest, martyrdom or suicide.

    So, the thought that people who want to commit suicide do not want the pain doesn't fit all cultures.

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