Virginia firefighter’s suicide possibly instigated by colleagues’ online bullying
Officials in Fairfax County, Virginia are investigating whether there is a connection between a 31-year-old firefighter’s suicide and online bullying that may have been committed by colleagues, WUSA-TV reported.
“If there is any nexus with any type of bullying — which I have zero tolerance for — in the physical nature of bullying itself, or in a written nature or verbal nature, if you will, of bullying, I will address that,” Fire Chief Richard Bowers said on Monday. “I will eradicate that completely.”
Prior to her death, 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff was the target of online harassment late last year at a local “gossip site,” Fairfax Underground. The people making crude accusations against her on the forum did not identify themselves, but suggested that they were part of the fire department.
She went missing earlier this month. Her body, along with a suicide note, was found in Shenandoah National Park on April 13, more than a week after she last reported for work. Officials later determined hanging to be the cause of her death. They have not disclosed the contents of the note.
Watch WUSA’s report, as aired on Monday, below.