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Oct 6, 2017

David Doehm claims state ‘witch-hunt’ in leaked suicide note

This station as a matter of policy normally does not report on suicides or suicide attempts. That is to avoid unwarranted publicity. But the subject of this story is well-known due to the criminal allegations against him, and the manner of his death is rare and intriguing. That is why fifty-six year old retiree David Doehm remains in the headlines tonight, more than twenty-four hours after he apparently took his own life by asphyxiating himself with a tank of nitrogen gas. He was found dead in room number five-twenty-three at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino after midday on Thursday, having checked in on Wednesday afternoon. He was seated in a corner of the room facing the window looking out at the sea, face covered by a plastic bag. A hose was taped to his left cheek and led to an empty nitrogen gas tank with two valves open. Identification lay nearby. Part of the content of a three-page note handwritten by him has been leaked. It shows that at the moment of his death he was trying to fathom how he and his wife became, as he alleges, subjects of a so-called witch hunt by the powers that be after being arrested and charged with cruelty to adopted step-daughter Faye Lin Cannon, and suspected of involvement in her murder in July. News Five’s Aaron Humes continues our coverage of this story tying the pieces of this puzzle together.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

“As suicides go, the way that David Doehm chose to end his life was most ingenious. With a fifty-five cubic foot tank of liquid nitrogen purchased from Fabrigas Belize Limited, he hooked himself up and put a plastic bag over his head, asphyxiating himself within minutes. But nitrogen, known as an inert gas, is used legitimately and safely in many industries, from juice bottling to hospitals, even to inflating your car tires. Why he chose to end his life this way, however, is a question that only he can answer.”

Part of that answer lies in a three-page note found lying beside him by police when they entered room 523 at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino around twelve-forty Thursday afternoon. The first page, released anonymously today, speaks of what he alleges is a “witch-hunt conducted by the Government of Belize.” That is an obvious reference to the charges of child cruelty he faced in the death of Faye Lin Cannon, who was found dead with severe bruises and signs of sexual assault at their condo in San Pedro in July. The Doehm couple admitted to being aware of injuries, but had tried non-medical methods rather than attend Faye Lin at the hospital. They have strenuously denied any involvement in Faye Lin’s death. As for the method of David’s death, we have confirmed that the purchase was made on September twenty-eighth, and that he told staff at Fabrigas that he intended to use it for a tire business, but offered no details. In his note, he affirms that he chose nitrogen asphyxiation to avoid having to seek assistance or inform anyone else of what he was doing. That includes his wife Anke, whom he last saw, according to reliable information we have received, earlier on Wednesday, when he left their home on Reggae Street for a business meeting to sell off their clothes business. He was said to have a small suitcase with him. He checked into the Princess around four in the evening and, sometime during the night and following morning, wrote the note and set up the moment of his death. Anke, distraught after learning of her husband’s death on Thursday, made the formal identification of his body. Police confirmed that they have not questioned her since. But we understand that he had complained of nothing nor did she see any signs of what was to come. Anke and an attorney attended Family Court on Thursday morning in the ongoing custody battle over the siblings of the late Faye Lin Cannon, which was adjourned for later this month. At the midday break, in the strangest of coincidences, Anke Doehm and her attorney went for coffee at the Princess and saw the commotion outside.  She had no way of knowing that it was her husband being brought out, as police and hotel authorities said they could not give her any information. When we contacted the Princess this morning we were told that managers were in a meeting and would not issue a statement. After returning to court for the afternoon portion of the hearing and after it was completed, she was informed at the Police Station of David’s death. There is no word on her state of mind at the moment. How history judges David is even murkier.

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Deaths from nitrogen asphyxiation are rare. In Mexico in 2013, eight party-goers were rendered unconscious and one twenty-one-year-old male was put into a coma after liquid nitrogen was poured into the pool, while one man was killed in Scotland in 1999 after nitrogen spilled at his workplace.

 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “David Doehm claims state ‘witch-hunt’ in leaked suicide note”

  1. Hatari says:

    Consider this and search your soul.. What if this man was innocent of the crimes he was accused? What if the public outrage and harassment was unjustified and fueled only by racism and hate for those evil and wicked “Gringos”? You will never know now if your venom fill speculation which resulted in a man’s death was justified. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? And you call yourselves Christians.

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