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Mother of Chandler HS valedictorian who died by suicide shares signs to look for

Chandler valedictorian
Posted at 8:28 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 21:29:46-04

CHANDLER, AZ — Adrio Romine had everything going for him.

"This kid had everything: he was a full ride [student], he was a pre-med student, he was a straight-A student, he got the first B+ ever in his life, he's never known failure," his mother, Paolla Jordan, said Monday while wearing the medal given to her son for being valedictorian at Chandler High School. "Really he didn't let us in, it was a mystery, this was totally unexpected."

Adrio's death adds to the list of over 40 teenagers in the last year that have died by suicide in the Valley. National statistics show suicide is the number one killer of children ages 10-14.

Jordan says she now sees some of the warning signs that her son displayed a few weeks ago. Back then, she hadn't connected his withdrawing from family functions as a sign of depression and being suicidal.

"I said, 'Why aren't you playing videogames?' and he said, 'I don't like videogames anymore,'" she recalled. "Now looking at it, that should have been a clue."

Jordan has a message for other parents.

"Get the counseling these kids need, listen to them and if you can, let them speak to an aunt or an uncle. Let them speak to them if they can't speak to you mom and dad."

As far as Adrio's death is concerned, there is a criminal investigation being handled by a sheriff's department. At this time, law enforcement have not disclosed what exactly they are investigating in relation to Adrio's death.

Katey McPherson is a community advocate working closely with Adrio's family. She says looking now at Adrio's history, the signs of depression were there.

"The trajectory of that (suicide) goes pretty quickly the national statistic is 15 minutes to 2 weeks between 'I'm not doing well' to 'I'm going to do something serious,'" McPherson said.

"I just say to parents watch the screen time be vigilant have guards in place....There is so much negative out there, but you need to stay ahead of it that is my message for the parents watching today," added Jordan.