An Indiana man and his family were cycling Friday afternoon in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve on Hilton Head Island when they noticed a 20-year-old Bluffton man hanging from a tree by a rope, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
The witness called 911 at 1:09 p.m., the report said.
Two other witnesses, one of whom worked for Community Service Associates for Sea Pines, saw the man sitting in the tree about 20 minutes before but told deputies they did not realize what he was doing, the report said.
Hilton Head EMS unsuccessfully tried to revive the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene just before 2 p.m., the report said.
The Sheriff’s Office report categorized the incident as a suicide.
The case was not the first such reported in a local nature preserve this year.
In February, two tourists from New York and a mother with two small children discovered a Sun City Hilton Head man lying in the parking lot of Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge after an apparent suicide attempt, according to a previous Island Packet article. The man was taken to the hospital.
In addition to local resources, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
Editor’s note: The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newspapers do not typically report on suicides but are doing so in this case because the death occurred in a public place. However, the newspapers decided not to publish the man’s name.