A Florida man is accused of helping his girlfriend kill herself after the couple made a “suicide pact.”
According to News-Journal, 52-year-old Bruce Haughton and his 52-year-old girlfriend, Katherine Goddard, tried to kill themselves by carbon monoxide poisoning twice in June. She died during the second attempt, while he survived. Her daughter found the couple during the incident.
On June 30, Haughton and Goddard were both found in a car unresponsive. Haughton helped plan the suicide by placing duct tape around the garage door and attaching a dryer vent to the exhaust pipe of a vehicle so the car would fill with carbon monoxide. “I just got home and I just found my mom and my step-dad in the garage, in the car,” the daughter said, “and I don’t know if the car’s been on or what but ... he’s barely breathing and I can’t get a pulse off of her.”
The daughter also found a suicide note from her mom. “Due to the pain we are both in and can’t get help, this is the only way we can see getting out of it. Goodbye to everybody,” she read.
The couple reportedly struggled with prescription medications.
Goddard was dead at the scene. When taken to the hospital, Haughton's blood work showed a much lower level of carboxyhemoglobin than authorities expected. “There were a lot of unusual circumstances in this case, but the state felt that that was the appropriate charge,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “There’s insufficient evidence to charge him with murder. Although there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that would indicate this case is more than the charge.”
On Wednesday, authorities in Flagler County charged the man with “assisting self-murder.” The charge of assisting self-murder is a second-degree felony manslaughter charge. The crime is punishable with by up to 15 years in prison.
[Photo: Corrections Department]