BEACHWOOD, Ohio — The wife of a man found hanging in a tree in Beachwood said she knows her husband committed suicide.
Lennin Johan Torres-Sepulveda, 38, of Atlanta took a picture of himself with a noose around his neck and sent it to his wife right before he hanged himself, the widow Patricia Lane said in an interview with cleveland.com.
Lane said she is outraged that pictures of her husband’s dead body are circulating online, and organizations and news outlets across the country are calling it a lynching.
“I just came from my husband’s funeral,” Lane said Thursday. “He looked like he was sleeping. I want to remember him that way. I want those pictures of him hanging from that tree taken down.”
A woman on Facebook said she took the picture, calling it “awareness.”
“Try riding in a car and having to explain to your kids what they just saw,” the woman wrote. “It’s truth and the harsh world we live in.”
The woman took the picture sometime before officers arrived, and she never called police, Beachwood police Chief Keith Winebrenner said.
Torres-Sepulveda was a performer with the Universoul Circus. The circus scheduled shows from May 17 though Monday at the Southgate Shopping Center in Maple Heights.
Torres-Sepulveda had worked with the circus for 12 years, circus spokesman Hank Ernest said. Circus performers were staying at a hotel across the street from the area where the body was found about 8 p.m. last Friday.
A couple driving by saw the body and called police.
“We are deeply saddened by what happened.” Ernest said. “It was the saddest day, and something that we are trying to get over.”
Torres-Sepulveda’s body was found hanging from a tree in a wooded area near Auburn Drive north of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center. The patch of trees is surrounded by two plazas that are home to Life Time Fitness, Aloft and a restaurant, as well as Penske, and a large office building with windows facing the trees.
There was no evidence on the body to indicate any type of struggle, such as bruising, torn clothing, scrapes, scratches, or defensive wounds, Winebrenner said.
Torres-Sepulveda may have been dealing with issues, but he was kind and caring, Lane said. He was always laughing, and helped everyone in need.