A beloved meteorologist at a local Fox affiliate station in Detroit, Michigan, has died by suicide. Jessica Starr, 35, had recently opened up to fans about “struggling” with complications after Lasik eye surgery.
WJBK-TV broke the sad news about their employee in a statement Thursday: “Last night we were informed of the heartbreaking news that our friend and colleague, meteorologist Jessica Starr, took her life.”
“All of us here at FOX 2 are in deep shock and cannot believe that such a wonderful, bright and intelligent individual will no longer be with us. Her family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers in the coming days as we all deal with our grief,” the statement said.
Last night we were informed of the heartbreaking news that our friend and colleague, meteorologist Jessica Starr took her life. All of us here are in shock and cannot believe such a wonderful, bright and intelligent individual will no longer be with us. https://t.co/hK31DaPwp0
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) December 13, 2018
Starr hanged herself, according to officials, the New York Post reported.
Complicated recovery from eye surgery
The Detroit Free Press reported that Starr had undergone Lasik eye surgery in October and had been out of work recovering for several weeks. During that time she had expressed frustration over the slow pace of her recovery and complained of the “dry eye” she was suffering from as a result of the surgery.
In what turned out to be her final post to Twitter, Starr wrote on Nov. 14, “Update; yesterday was a struggle for me. I really wanted to come back but I need more time to recover. Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated.” The tweet included the “praying hands” emoji.
Update; yesterday was a struggle for me. I really wanted to come back but I need more time to recover. Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated. 🙏🏻
— Jessica Starr (@Jstarrfox2) November 14, 2018
Just one day prior to that, Nov. 13, Starr had attempted to return to work in spite of her struggles. She spoke of how her recovery was progressing in a video posted to Facebook and requested all of the prayers of support she could get. “I am struggling a bit,” she admitted, asking fans for their tips on recovering from eye surgery.
Starr was born and raised in Michigan and earned degrees in meteorology from both Michigan State University and Mississippi State University. Her career in local news began with a weekend stint for WLNS-TV in Lansing, prior to a four-year gig at WBFF-TV in Baltimore, Maryland, where she covered the weather and other community news.
She eventually ended up back in Michigan with the Fox 2 Detroit team in 2012.
Starr is survived by her husband Dan, as well as two children, son Noah, 5, and daughter Riley, 3.
Outpouring of support
A separate report in the Detroit Free Press documented the outpouring of grief and support from Starr’s many friends, colleagues, and fans.
Pictures from happier days in the past were posted and memories were shared as her colleagues expressed their shock at the sudden and unexpected loss of their co-worker.
— Kellie Rowe (@kellierowe) December 13, 2018
Reporters and media personalities from other outlets in the city also reached out to express their sorrow over Starr’s death and to offer condolences to her family and friends.
If you or a loved one is in crisis, please take a moment to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for free, anonymous counseling.