The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into the death of a man who apparently ended his life near Mancos in early May.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on County Road 31 at about 12:27 a.m. on May 4, according to a recently released report, after a homeowner called to report that 31-year-old Christopher Hendry, who had been staying with the family for several months, was unresponsive in the garage. About two hours earlier, Hendry had posted a Facebook Live video in which he apologized to family members and said he hoped he could “possibly find peace somewhere,” according to the report. He had been discovered by his girlfriend around midnight.
His death was ruled a suicide by county coroner George Deavers.
Montezuma detective Bryce Queen said the video Hendry had uploaded just before ending his life was hidden from his public profile by the time investigators were able to examine the cell phone he used to film it. But he did leave behind another Facebook video, posted about 12 hours before his death. In it, Hendry is shown singing an original country music song he called “Take It Easy,” about loneliness, breakups and other struggles of life. Despite the song’s melancholy words, it has an upbeat tune, and the singer ends the video with a big smile at the camera.
Hendry was from Blanco, New Mexico, but according to the sheriff’s report, he had been living with his girlfriend’s family in Montezuma County since February. He had recently lost his job on an oil field in North Dakota. According to Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin, the investigation revealed that Hendry had had disagreements with a previous girlfriend.
The report cited statements from relatives who said Hendry had made attempts on his own life at least twice before, but was not under the care of a doctor or taking any medication.
According to a toxicology report, Hendry was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of his death.
Queen said it took several weeks to close the investigation because the sheriff’s office needed to inform Hendry’s immediate family about the facts, as well as get the results from the toxicology report.
“These situations are always very difficult for the family to accept and process,” Queen said.
He said it was the first time he had seen Facebook used to broadcast a suicide note in Montezuma County. Facebook’s community standards say the site “prohibit(s) content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury.”
In 2016, nine suicides were reported in Montezuma County, the highest number in four years, according to crime statistics compiled by the sheriff’s office.
Hendry’s family could not be reached for comment, but many of his friends and relatives left comments on his final Facebook video after his death, expressing their love for him. His memorial service was held in Broomfield, New Mexico, on May 13.
Hendry is survived by a son from a previous relationship, according to the sheriff’s office.
This article was reposted on June 6, 2017, to clarify information about Christopher Hendry’s previous relationship.