Remembering Fox 2 Meteorologist Jessica Starr: 'To anybody else out there who feels like they don't matter, it's not true'


When I worked at The Oakland Press, I was known as the "suicide girl" (no, not the website with the tattooed pin-up girls). I was known as the "suicide girl" because I was the reporter who would cover all the suicides in the community.

Around that time, suicides weren't covered nearly as much by the media as they are now. I think this was because of the misnomer, "When you talk about suicide, it's more likely to happen." When I became the newspaper's "suicide girl," I had my fair share of critics who told me the same thing - that I shouldn't write about suicide because it promotes copy cats. But I didn't agree. 

Instead, I made it a point - every time I heard about a suicide in Oakland County, I would write about the person who died. I hoped that, by being open about suicide, I could help, in a small way, change the dialogue when it came to mental illness and show people that it shouldn't be taboo to talk about. 

About eight years later, I am still known as the "suicide girl." Which is why, when I came back to my desk after a meeting at work this afternoon, I had multiple text messages from multiple people about the most recent publicized suicide in the metro Detroit area. 

And, just like I did when I worked for the media, you better believe I am going to talk about it now. Because it's a topic that needs to be talked about. And because she deserves to be memorialized - whether she died from suicide or cancer or a car accident, none of it is her fault. 

Fox 2 Meteorologist Jessica Starr, 35, a resident of Novi, lost her life to suicide late on Wednesday, Dec. 12 - confirmed by the Oakland County Medical Examiner. Even though I didn't know her, when I learned of her death, I could feel all the color drain from my face and tears prick my eyes for the woman who was taken from this earth way too early. I can't imagine what the people who knew and loved her are going through right now.

Jessica is survived by her husband, Daniel Rose, and two young children, age 2 and 5. She is remembered by those who knew her as a bright, intelligent, delightful person with a magnetic spirit and an infectious laugh. 

Jessica attended Walled Lake Central High School and earned her certificate in broadcast meteorology at Mississippi State University. She had been at Fox 2 for the last eight years and recently took some time off to recover from laser eye surgery. In her last post on Facebook on Nov. 14, Jessica wrote, "Yesterday was a struggle for me. ... Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated."

Morning News Anchor Maurielle Lue said, "My heart aches for my friend and her family. Jess, I’m hurt and angry. I am replaying our last talks and texts just hours ago - selfishly wishing I had picked up on some clue or hint of the intense pain you were feeling. I may never understand why, but I pray you are at peace now. I will miss you, you mattered, I’m sorry."

"To anybody else out there who feels like they don't matter or the world would be better off without them, it's not true. People love you." 

Jessica will miss her children growing up. She will miss dancing with them at their weddings and meeting her grandchildren. She will miss all the promotions that she was bound to get for being so freakin' talented. She will miss growing old with her husband - chasing each other around with electric scooters (or maybe in 40 or 50 years, it'll be flying scooters).

Jessica had so much in store for her future and now we'll never know.

If you are considering suicide, please remember this: Even if it doesn't seem like it now, you have so much in store for your future too. And, as Maurielle Lue said, "You matter."

So please, please, please, please, please - don't go through with it. Please talk to someone. No matter how depressed you are or how hopeless things may seem, there is treatment available. It's not the end. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Common Ground for Oakland County residents both provide 24/7 free and confidential support. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text 741-741. Call Common Ground at 1-800-231-1127 or visit commongroundhelps.org to chat.

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1 comments

  1. Not talking about suicide doesn't prevent it, it makes it look like a problem that nobody wants to deal with. I have had 2 cousins commit suicide and my daughters have had multiple friends take their lives as well. Not talking isn't working! Talk, dear God, these people NEED to talk to someone about it. If they felt comfortable enough to talk it out, they might still be here, but the stigma is still floating throughout our country, the "suck it up" attitude.

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