Autopsy: Drew Ferraro Had History of Depression Before Suicide

Coroner's officials say that Drew Ferraro, 15, had a history of depression before he jumped off the roof of a three-story building at Crescenta Valley High School on Feb. 10.

Drew Ferraro was thought to have been suicidal before he jumped to his death in front of peers at , according to the County of Los Angeles Department of Coroner Investigator report. 

His parents were apparently told he was suicidal; however, he did not go home from school on Feb. 9 and attended CVHS on Feb. 10 when he took his own life, according to an autopsy report and investigation.

Drew was found lying on the concrete with his backpack several feet east of his body. Inside his backpack were . 

Traces of marijuana and Citalopram were detected in the toxicology report. 

The level of marijuana represented "historical use" and could have occurred days, weeks or a month before Drew's suicide, Dan Anderson, supervisor of the coroner's toxicology lab, told The Glendale News-Press

Citalopram, an anti-depressant, was found in Drew's system in amounts "consistent with therapeutic use," the News-Press reported.

On the day before his death, Drew had his phone taken away in class for texting by his third period English Teacher, Charlotte Greenway. 

Greenway had spoken with Drew's mother, Deanna Ferraro, about Drew's poor attendance in the fall. Ferraro said her teenage son was diagnosed with depression, but Greenway was unaware of the extent of his problems or whether he had been taking medication. 

On the day of his death, Drew had attended Greenway's third period class and seemed to be fine, investigators reported. 

"He was not mad because his cell phone had been taken away," according to the report. 

By fourth period, Greenway's students had asked to go outside and read since it was a nice day, she said. The class gathered east of the quad area, and when the fourth period bell rang she was packing up her papers when she heard a loud thud. 

She saw Drew lying on the ground and went to check him when she saw blood pooling beneath his body, the report states. 

Greenway stated that she had never heard Drew make any suicidal statements, officials said. 

"The decedent did not appear to be an outcast, but he was not one of the more popular students either. There was no known friction with other students and when she spoke privately with the decedent or disciplined him he was always polite and cordial," according to the report. 

Greg Andrews June 07, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Ms. Smith, I think Montrose Patch has been assembling the story. They started out with, and taken the potential bullying stance, from day one. I'm sorry this part of the story doesn't prop up your stance, but allow the story to be told as it comes out. Like you; I also want to know if a police report was filed the evening a 15 year old did not come home? Having been bullied as a 98 pound student; instead of running to another place, where this will likely happen again, get your son into a real martial arts studio! Not to fight, but to build an aura nobody wants to fool with, and if somebody does...they pay dearly and in public. Football coach's hate when a 98 pound guy, like I was, hands them back a 200+ pound star player, after defended myself. This story isn't going away anytime soon, and needs to be told. Take care of your child.
Nicole Charky (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 05:16 PM
According to the autopsy report: "The decedent attended [SIC] Crescenta Valley High School and there was a report that he was thought to have been suicidal on the day before his death. His parents had been informed; however, the decedent did not go home from school and he had been attending school on the day of his death."
Trissie Badger June 07, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Bullying has no place in any school (or other place for that matter) and has been going on for eons; it most definitly should not be tolerated and any program that offers effective solutions I will applaud. Here is an additional viewpoint viewpoint on the tragedy of the matter at hand... I write for the legal profession and do online research daily involivng legal matters. I have too often for my liking, come across lawsuits involving children who either murdered, attacked others, or committed suicide while on anti-depressant psychiatric drugs. Many of the drugs have warnings on the bottle that state such behaviors as possible side-effects, but some do not. The doctors sometimes fail to tell the parents about the side effects, or don't know what they are as well. Due to the different ways a child or teen can react to the drugs, parents need to realize they are playing a game of Russian Roulette, even with so called "therapeutic levels.". If we are trying to teach our children to stay away from drugs, why are we so easily placing them on prescription drugs? This sends a confusing message to our kids. "Here, take this drug for your depression, but don't take other drugs." The pharmaceutcial industry is making billions off of these drugs sales and our children are one of their biggest markets. There are other alternatives rather than drugs that can often have tragically toxic effects. This could very well have been part of what happened to Drew .
Baseball June 07, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I think there are many aspects to suicide. I have seen the bullying at CV first hand, but I am not quick to say that was the reason this poor kid jumped to his death. No one knows what was in his head. To solely blame bullying and CV is very irresponsible on our part. I agree with Trissie Badger way too many drugs are being given out to our kids~~I know the easiest way to accept such a tragic event is to blame bullying and CV, but there is a lot more to this story that died that tragic day. We will probably never really know. Love your kids and be kind to others!!
Robert Wollenweber June 07, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Everyone has jumped on the "Bullying" band wagon. Why don't we stick with the facts. I don't think the school and the sheriffs Dept. have less info. and did less investigating then the general public. Fact number one: this is a very sad tragedy that has occurred with the loss of a young life and many effected. Let's try not to jump to conclusions. Bullying is definitely a problem but do we have solid evidence that, that was the case with Drew?
Suzanne Lee June 07, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Couldn't have said it better myself!!!! Thank you for taking the time to speak out against anti-depressant drugs. I agree with you 100%!!!
Baseball June 07, 2012 at 11:51 PM
couldn't agree with you more, Robert!!!
Desiree Ferraro June 08, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Rob, yes there is a large amount of evidence that Drew was bullied everyday by his peers. I know because I saw it happen, tried to stop it and it was turned around on me. I was to the point of fighting with the girls when they decided to stop for a period of time. Once I graduated it picked right back up. Drew was bullied. and there are plenty of reports to prove it and the family had pressed charges on a kid last year. The full report of the autopsy was not given a large amount was left out. I mean wa his time and place not enough evidence for you??? If it was family related it would have happened at home. It was not at home, it was at the school right when lunch started, what does that tell you??
Elizabeth Lockhart June 08, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Does anyone know why Drew's final letters are not being released? He must have put a great deal of thought into them and it seems like they would add some insight into his motivation and state of mind in his final hours. I personally would like to hear what Drew had to say in his own words rather than speculation.
Desiree Ferraro June 08, 2012 at 06:13 AM
I feel like a Brocken record here but ill say it yet again. They letters are nobody's business but those they were addressed to. I have read them time and time again. They are not for the publics eyes. And if you listen to the family you will find the truth, instead of listening to what you hear. Why would the family lie?
Curious Reader June 08, 2012 at 06:19 AM
And I would like more information on what happened when Drew did not come home the day before his suicide. He was a minor. Did his parents know where he was? Then he shows up to school the next day? There is more to this story that didn't die that day... Time will tell if it will be revealed truthfully.
Private June 08, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Drew was home with his family on February 9th, he was picked up after school as normal and did not leave home all evening. It makes me sick, that everyone rushes to conclusions. The one thing I have learned about all of this is that news articles are only partially true and only tell half of a story. Our family should not have to explain to anybody what the letters said or relive that day. Can we not mourn and try to pull ourselves together. Is out society that heartless? We lost our son, our daughters lost their brother is that not enough suffering and pain for a family to bear, with out being judged on top of it? I hope not one Of you that question and judge our family has to suffer a fraction of what we are. Have some sympathy.
cvhsalumnimom June 08, 2012 at 07:37 AM
If I had the power to do so, I would send that comment to the editors of the Glendale News Press and the LATimes. It's truly grotesque that any parent would need to write a comment like that. Sadly, I believe this district cares for nothing except their public image, as they pretended back in 2000 that two boys were not brutally murdered on the playground of Valley View Elementary School. They placed playground equipment over the place those two boys died. You'd think maybe a little plaque or a tree or something could be placed there and not result in an exodus of upper-middle class parents and their money. what a repulsive culture permeates the GUSD.
cvhsalumnimom June 08, 2012 at 07:57 AM
Where are you getting your information about police reports from, Greg?
Donna Evans (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@cvhsalumnimom - I actually covered that story back in 2000 for the Daily News. It was so indescribably heart wrenching. It would be horrible anywhere, but in La Crescenta it was astonishing. Interesting there's not a plaque. Or a bench in memoriam. That surprises me.
cvhsalumnimom June 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I wish they had put something there. It's like they are just forgotten. I remember we were in Colorado over summer and saw the AP version of the story in the Boulder Daily Camera. My heart jumped out of my chest when I called and found out it was my daughter's school!
Sue Kilpatrick June 10, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Drew's death was a tragedy. Please show respect to Drew's family and stay out of their lives as they morn the death of their son. They know what needs to be done and do not need all the opinions and comments being thrown at them! Back off!
Sue Kilpatrick June 10, 2012 at 06:33 AM
None of your business! Go read a gossip column!
Nicole Charky (Editor) June 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM
A comment that included misleading allegations about a Glendale Unified School District official was removed. Please follow our terms of use: http://montrose.patch.com/terms
Nicole Charky (Editor) June 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM
A comment that included misleading allegations about a Glendale Unified School District official was removed. Please follow our terms of use: http://montrose.patch.com/terms
Sheryl Hein July 04, 2012 at 12:15 AM
If you want to know more about why drugs are being pushed as safe and effective, ge the dvd "Making a Killing". You can get it from any Church of Scientology book store. You will be shocked!!!! Say no to street and prescription drugs. Our era grew up fine without them. People have different thought processes in regards to their problems when they are not on drugs, period. Have you ever taken Codeine for pain? How did that make you feel? Exactly......
Sue Kilpatrick July 04, 2012 at 01:13 AM
This is not the right place to be pushing your Scientology agenda, good, bad or otherwise. Or any agenda at all. How would it make you feel for someone (like yourself) to come along and tell you you what you should have done? We are talking about the loss of their son. Have some respect.
Eitan July 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Sue, this is indeed a very tragic death. The family absolutely has the right to mourn. However, I don't think the lady above (Sheryl) was trying to push any agenda, or offend. I've actually watched the documentary he is talking about, and it is indeed fascinating. I think he was trying to say is that there might be more information people are not aware of regarding some pharmaceuticals, especially mind-altering ones. I've done a lot of research in this area myself, and I volunteer for a human rights/patients advocacy organization that investigates the pharmaceutical industry, and the dangerous effects of these pills on children under 18 and more. It was eye-opening to say the least, especially the many expert interviews with doctors, psychologists, and professionals talking about these tough issues, whom you never see on television. And because the couple's son was on Citalopram, which lists "suicidal thoughts", "anxiety" and many other side-effects, it would be worth considering. You can watch Making a Killing for free too online at www.cchr.org/videos. I hope this was helpful and if you want, check out the video.
Sue Kilpatrick July 11, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Thank you. I am aware of these studies and I agree, they(drugs) must be carefully considered before using. I still feel this is not the appropriate place or time for these facts, unless the family agrees.
CV mom July 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I agree with @cvhsalumnimom and @Sue Kilpatrick. I would like to add: No one has any right to judge what action Drew's parents took to help their son battle his depression. Antidepressants have been a lifeSAVER for many people! The fact is, they loved him and were trying their best to help him. Walk in the shoes of a parent dealing with this before you demonize medication as an option.
CV mom July 22, 2012 at 03:47 PM
... and another thing ... @Nicole Charky, the GUSD is not the victim here. Why are negative comments about GUSD removed, while judgemental comments toward the family are allowed to stay??
Sue Kilpatrick July 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Agree with C.V. mom. All comments, even those blaming the GUSD, need to go into the equation to help our kids. All of us are in this together- some guilty, some not. The GUSD is not perfect and needs to use this tragedy to help develop and put in place a better anti-bully program- including teachers, parents and students. This is not a negative comment.
cvhsalumnimom July 22, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I agree with Sue and CV Mom. The whole thing smells to high heaven. I notice all the 'misleading allegations': about the pharmaceutical industry are just fine, though. Totally irrelevant to this story unless they are trying to cast blame on the parents for following the advice of a professional. If they hadn't found any prescribed medication in Drew's system I'm sure people would've jumped all over that, too.
CV Parent August 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
My heart goes out to the grieving family. I can't imagine the tragedy that they've gone through. I hope your hearts find peace.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 11, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Even this topic cannot escape the caustic comments. If there is the slightest chance that things said here would further grieve the parents, why put out the opportunity to do so ? Has tragedy become another source of entertainment ? The parents should not blame themselves. No parent is perfect and most all of them love and care for their childen. Even at a young age, the brutal truth is that the kids themselves are responsible for what they do. I cannot help but make this observation: a backpack is strapped around both shouders and for it to be lying three feet from him, is very unusual.. Hitting the ground hard produces blunt force trauma, not known for opening wounds that causes a "pooling of blood" underneith the body. I know one thing, this young man is with God in a state of consciousness and awareness. Jesus said :Allow the little children to come to Me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven..."If he could say one thing to you it might be "Don;t grieve for me, grieve for yourselves" He is in good hands.


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