By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Thursday, June 25, 2009
11:10 p.m., 1800 Club, Miami
Other girls were jealous of Jennifer. It seemed like the stunning brunet had everything. She was one of the brightest in her sorority, with a mellow demeanor guys loved and a well-off, supportive family. It made no sense, friends would say later, that she was prone to such impassioned breakdowns.
Jennifer was a New York native who moved to a one-story North Miami Beach home in 1996. At Florida State University, she earned a reputation as "the funky, free-spirited one, as well as the smartest," says former roommate Carrie.
She was away at grad school at Boston University in December 2007 when she first broke down. While studying dentistry, she was kicked out for "alcohol abuse," according to a medical examiner's report. She went to rehab but never stopped wanting to die.
When she moved back to Miami, she sometimes stole anti-anxiety pills from her mom's prescription bottle. In September 2008, she moved in with a boyfriend at the 1800 Club, a sleek, 423-foot tower.
On June 24, her boyfriend returned home from a business trip and kept working. Jennifer "became hysterical because she felt she was being ignored," according to the medical examiner's investigation. She threatened to kill herself, so Will took her cell phone to call the cops.
"The argument became violent when [Jennifer] attempted to get her phone from him," the police report says. Dog walkers in the park below heard them shouting from their 32nd-floor balcony. "If you call them, I'm going to jump!" Jennifer screamed. Then she stepped onto a patio chair, climbed onto a rail, and sat there. "It's my time!" she yelled before plunging to the ground.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
3:17 a.m. Tiara East, Deerfield Beach
Security cameras tracked Michael's decision that day. They watched the 31-year-old walk into his condo building alone and take the freight elevator to the 17th floor. Around 3 a.m., security guard Peter Gonzalez was patrolling the south side of the building and discovered a body, bleeding from the head.
Family members would later explain that Michael was depressed, having lost his job, and struggled with drug abuse. Empty bottles of oxycodone and Xanax were found in his apartment. The security camera recorded a picture of his body after it hit the ground.
Tuesday, July 28, 2008
8:30 p.m., Opera Tower, Miami
Mariajose, a short 29-year-old with long brown locks, was hosting an afternoon pool party. "She seemed happy," says one close friend. "She had just moved into her new condo." Though she had been hospitalized for suicide attempts, she was excelling as an analyst for Burger King Corp. And it wouldn't be long before she'd be done with her master's in business at the University of Miami.
Midway through the party, she and her boyfriend, Victor, "were involved in a heated argument" inside her condo, according to the medical examiner's investigation. She told him she wanted to die, so Victor left and went looking for help from security guards. When he got downstairs, he saw "people on their cell phones, running frantically" toward Mariajose's bikini-clad body.