Wisconsin News Anchor Commits Suicide Six Weeks Before Her Wedding

Neena Pacholke, a news anchor from Wisconsin, committed suicide at the age of 27, just six weeks before she was set to get married.

A tragic incident took place over the weekend in Wisconsin, where news anchor Neena Pacholke sadly committed suicide just six weeks before she was set to get married. She was 27 years-old.

Daily Mail reported that police found Pacholke dead in her apartment in Wasau at 11 am on Saturday two hours after they were called by concerned friends of the news anchor who said that she had told them that morning that she wanted to end her own life. It is not clear at this time how Pacholke killed herself.

Pacholke’s death came six weeks before she was set to marry Kyle Haase, a divorced father of two who is 38 years old. While they had been living together, he was not home at the time of Pacholke’s suicide.

Pacholke’s Network And Co-Anchor Pay Tribute To Her

Pacholke had spent the past few years working as a news anchor for the ABC television affiliate WAOW in Wausau, Wisconsin. Her co-anchor Brendan Mackey described her as “the brightest light in the room” and praised her as “an incredible friend… a role model.”

“The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well,” WAOW said in a statement. “Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly.”

“We ask you to please keep her family in your thoughts at this time as we all cope with the loss,” the network added. “We will have much more on the life and legacy Neena had later in the week.”

Pacholke’s Past Struggles

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Pacholke overcame a serious tragedy in her teenage years, when she lost her first love, Jordan Harris, to brain cancer while the pair were still in high school back in 2013. Three years later, she gave an interview in which she described being in the room with him when he died, and she continued to raise money for cancer research in his memory right up until her own death. 

Watch Pacholke’s 2016 interview about Harris in the video below.

Ally Peters, Pacholke’s best friend and former coworker said that while Pacholke still missed Harris, she had also come to terms with his death by the time she passed away. She also said that Pacholke loved her job at WAOW Channel 9 in Wisconsin so much that she planned to stay there for the rest of her life. 

“It’s so hard for the community to comprehend what happened because she put on a smile and showed p every morning on the desk,” Peters said. “You would think she was the happiest person.”

Related: Naomi Judd Was So Depressed Before Her Suicide That She Wanted To Be Killed Onstage

‘She Had A Lot Going On Behind The Scenes’

“She had a lot going on behind the scenes,” Peters added. “It’s hard for people to understand but that’s what happens with depression and mental health. It was an on and off thing that we dealt with as her friends. We supported her, but she also hid it pretty well. It just goes to show you never know what’s going on in someone’s head. I never knew the depths of her despair and sadness.”

Peters went on to say that while she was aware that Pacholke’s mental health struggles had become much worse in the past few months, she “never thought” she’d actually kill herself.

“It seemed to me like that she had gotten through a lot and she seemed happy for the most part,” Peters said. 

Related: Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst Dies After Jumping From A NYC Building

Pacholke’s Family Speaks Out

Pacholke’s family has set up a GoFundMe in her honor that has already raised over $16,000 at the time of this money. 

“Neena radiated light and love wherever she went. She was a force of kindness, and her laughter and smile were contagious,” the family said on the page. “She was a beloved morning news anchor at WAOW in Wausau, Wisconsin and inspired her community with her storytelling and positivity.”

“We have created this GoFundMe to help collect donations for the Pacholke family as they make funeral preparations,” the family added. “Any amount helps and we would appreciate your memories of Neena in the comments below. Any additional money will go to mental health resources.”

Please join us in saying a prayer for Pacholke’s friends and family during this extremely difficult time. 

If You or Someone You Know Is in Crisis And Needs Immediate Help

The National Institute of Mental Health provides the following guidance for anyone who is or knows someone who may be considering self-harm (this information is also available in Spanish):

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away

  • Call 911 for emergency services.
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Support is also available via live chat. Para ayuda en español, llame al 988.

NIMH does not monitor this website or the emails or phone numbers listed on the website for crisis messages, provide medical advice, or make referrals.

If You Have a Family Member or Friend in a Crisis

If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die. Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.

The information is also available in Spanish. This page is also available en español.

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