A man found dead in the Spokane River on Sunday had a long history of mental illness and likely committed suicide, family said on Monday.
Peter L. Jose, 34, had schizophrenia but regularly skipped his medication and frequently threatened to harm himself, said Mary Lee Gaston, mother of Jose’s ex-wife.
Gaston’s daughter, who also has schizophrenia, left Jose about a year ago, and he hadn’t seen their young daughter in months because of his ongoing struggle with his mental health, Gaston said.
Gaston learned of Jose’s death Monday after an autopsy by the Spokane County medical examiner’s office.
“It’s just heartbreaking, but it’s just totally out of our hands,” Gaston said. “When people are very, very mentally ill, they have another world they live in. And poor Peter did.”
Jose is pictured during theater performances in 2000 and 2006. He was active in the now closed On Stage! theater group.