Investigators: PBG man's elaborate plan to make suicide look like murder failed
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (CBS12) —
Police call it an elaborate plan that they say was meant to fool everyone.
But in the end, investigators from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department say the man’s plan didn’t work because they had some holes in them.
That investigation lasted nearly six months and on Thursday, Palm Beach Gardens police released the report that 72-year-old Alan Jay Abrahamson took his own life and tried to make it look like he was murdered in a field near his house in BallenIsles in late January.
“To be honest with you, it’s just a bizarre situation,” clinical psychologist Doctor Raphi Wald said while reviewing the case. “I mean the word that comes to mind is just bizarre.”
Wald is amazed at how investigators documented just how much trouble they say Abrahamson went through to take his own life.
“I can honestly say that in my practice, I’ve never had anyone fake a homicide and commit suicide,” Wald said.
Abrahamson was found dead with a bullet to the chest back in January.
Police initially thought it was murder, but couldn’t find a weapon or shell casings.
Their investigation then led them to Abrahamson’s computer and phone. That’s where, amongst other things, they say they found receipts and emails for weather balloons, helium tanks and rubber bands.
Investigators say those rubber bands and string were the same ones they found in the field where Abrahamson’s body was found.
One detective theorized that Abrahamson tied the gun to a string, shot himself, then the weather balloon took the gun far away from the scene of the crime.
That theory, investigators say, falls in line with searches they say they found on Abrahamson’s phone dating back to 2009.
Search words from that year include "suicide," "ways to commit suicide," and "how to kill yourself." Searches from last year also include the question, “Can life insurance companies deny payment for suicide?”
Investigators believe Abrahamson had no financial problems, though they say before taking his life, he depleted his retirement account and made large payments into his life insurance account.
Some say it was perhaps Abrahamson’s way of ensuring his family stayed financially sound.
Still, friends say no one knew anything was wrong and no one spotted anything out of the ordinary.
“But clearly this is something he didn’t do on a whim,” Wald said. “If they are experiencing severe emotional pain and they’re serious about hurting themselves, they want to take action fairly quickly."
According to the report, the weather balloon could have taken the gun 105,000 feet up and then somewhere into the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Bahamas.
One close friend said that this wasn’t the Alan Abrahamson he knew because he said that Alan would never do something like this.
CBS12 News reached out to the family for comment, but did not hear back.
Police have closed the case and the State Attorney Attorney has officially ruled the case as a suicide.