Houstonians continue to mourn after two prominent community members took their own lives this week Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
DOWNEY CA MARCH 03, 2017 --- Whittier police officers stand in respect as the funeral procession of slain Whittier police officer Keith Boyer leaves the Calvary Chapel on March 03, 2017 in Downey. Officer Boyer was shot on killed on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, while answering a report of a traffic accident. Michael Mejia, 26, a recently paroled gang member, has been charged with killing Boyer, wounding Boyer's partner, and earlier, killing Mejia's own cousin. He was charged Wednesday, March 1, 2017, with murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Last month, Valerie McDaniel and Leon Jacob, a well-known Houston veterinarian and her “failed-doctor” boyfriend, respectively, were charged with hiring a hitman to murder their exes.

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At this time, Jacob remains in jail after he was denied bail.

McDaniel was released on $50,000 bail following her arrest and in March, but this week, while awaiting pending legal action, she took her own life.

Photo via Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

The beloved Montrose animal doctor reportedly jumped from her River Oaks high rise last Monday, and despite the murder-for-hire charges, the community is shocked and devastated:

“You don’t know someone for 17 years and see that kind of compassionate caring person,” a former client of McDaniel’s said in an interview with KPRC. “That was way out of character, that was not her.”

“I want people to know the Valerie we knew,” another former client told KPRC. “That was a lovely, lovely woman.”

Photo via Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

Unfortunately, McDaniel was not the only high-profile suicide around town this week, after a 21-year HPD veteran took his own life at his patrol station in West Houston Friday.

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The fallen officer’s name has not been released by authorities, but an unidentified source told The Chronicle the sergeant was 44 years old and found in a stairwell with a single gunshot to his head.


He leaves behind his wife and two children, who are 10 and 12.

HPD psychological services is investigating the situation, and the department is hopeful it can prevent suicide from affecting police officers.

If you know someone in trouble, there are people who can help.

Suicide affects us all and is never the answer.

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