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Couple Try Suicide Where 4 Teen-Agers Killed Selves

March 17, 1987|Associated Press

BERGENFIELD, N.J. — A young couple was found dazed but conscious after breathing car fumes today in the same garage where last week four youths, including a teen-ager they knew, died in a suicide pact, police said.

A suicide note was found, but the couple's car had been turned off, police said.

The 20-year-old woman and her 17-year-old boyfriend, both from other towns, were discovered after a police officer patrolling the Bergenfield apartment complex at 4:06 a.m. noticed the garage's padlock had been broken, Police Chief Willard Burkart said.

The woman was handcuffed to the steering wheel of a Camaro, the same model as the car in which the four youths died, Burkart said. Borough Administrator Louis Goetting said the woman had a history of suicide attempts and indicated later that she had wanted to make a rescue more difficult.

The car's motor was not running but was warm when police discovered the two, the chief said. The two told rescuers they had turned off the motor when they heard someone outside the garage, Goetting said.

Rambling suicide notes were found in the car. Authorities would not detail their contents other than to say there was no specific mention of last week's deaths.

Also found in the car were a 35-millimeter camera, a leather jacket, a plastic bag, a loose-leaf binder, a spiral notebook and six beer bottles.

The two had gone through Bergenfield schools, and knew Thomas Rizzo, 19, one of the four who died in the garage last Wednesday, Goetting said.

The two were committed to a hospital's psychiatric division.

"Our reaction is just disbelief," Goetting said. "We are grateful we were successful in averting another tragedy.

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