The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office has officially ruled the death of 22-year-old Joseph Brown -- who was discovered hanging from a pavilion in a north Broward County park with 24-year-old Nikayla Baldomero -- a suicide, according to official records.
The Broward Sheriff's Office, however, says the investigation into the deaths is ongoing, and there has been no official ruling in the case of Baldomero, who died last week.
The case has received much publicity due to the public nature of the apparent suicides. Brown and Baldomero were found hanging from a picnic pavilion at Terramar Park in Parkland by a jogger on the morning of July 20.
In the coroner's file was a suicide note Brown penned to his mother in which he professed his love for her, mentioned what sources say was heavy drug use, lamented the fact that his father was not there to raise him, and voiced fears about his future.
"I'm sorry it had to be like this but I feel it was the only way," Brown wrote. "My life is damaged beyond repair... I feel I am at a better place and have made my peace with god. Don't ever think this is your fault. But the drugs have taken control and would not let me go. There is nothing that could have saved me."
While Brown mentions several friends in the handwritten note, there is no mention of Baldomero, who also reportedly was struggling with drug abuse. Sources have said both were using "Roxies," or Roxicodone, an addictive narcotic pain killer containing oxycodone hydrochloride.
Inside, read the text of the note, which is included to help understand this public tragedy.
Brown's note, addressed to his mother, slightly truncated:
"I love you more than anything. I'm sorry it had to be like this but I feel it was the only way. My life is damaged beyond repair. I am so sorry this is how you had to find out. I feel I am at a better place and have made my peace with god. Don't ever think this is your fault. But the drugs have taken control and would not let me go. There is nothing that could have saved me. No money in the world would have changed my mind. I just love you so so much. I have made the decision to make my life what it is and have decided to end it. I know it hurts now but in time I'm sure you will learn to cope and to move on. In the long run you will see how this is better for both of us. With Dad never being around you did your best to raise me and Dave but I was too stubborn to realize that what you were teaching me was for my own good. You were the best mother anyone could ever ask for... This world is just not meant for me. Please pray for me and pray I end up in heaven. I want you grow old and [have] a happy life. This is a decision I have been making for years and finally have just gone through with it. I have been dead since I was 16 but have just been going through the motions. Tell everyone I love them and will miss them all."
At this point, Brown mentions his best friend and lists names and numbers of friends he wants notified before it comes out on the news. He concludes: "I am just so alone and so scared and will not be one of those guys on the corner holding a sign. I am just so tired and there is nothing that could have saved me. Tell daddy I love him. I love you so much, Pray for me, Joey."
RIP, Joseph Brown.