Wife of Universoul Circus Performer Says Hanging Was A Suicide (VIDEO)

Lennin Johan Torres-Sepulveda, 38, of Atlanta, was found hanging from a tree in Beachwood, Ohio May 20. Cleveland.com reports his wife Patricia Lane is seething over images of her late husband circulating on social media. She says his death was a hanging suicide.

Thursday, Lane told Cleveland.com that she’d just come from her husband’s funeral and he looked like he was sleeping. She added,

 “I want to remember him that way. I want those pictures of him hanging from that tree taken down.”

Torres-Sepulveda’s Widow Says Her Late Husband Was A Good Guy

Lane shared with Cleveland.com that her late husband had been going through “issues,” but that he was a “kind and caring” person who would help everyone in need.

A woman passing by the area took the picture and says she did so to “raise awareness.” She didn’t call the police. Instead, a couple passing by made the call to Beachwood law enforcement.

Lane says it was a suicide, and that her husband sent her a picture with the noose around his neck right before he hanged himself. She doesn’t want his death associated with the word “lynching.”

Universoul Circus Co-Workers Deeply Saddened By Loss

Torres-Sepulveda was a performer with Universoul Circus for 12 years. Circus spokesperson Ernest Hanks said the staff is deeply saddened. The touring circus was scheduled to perform in Beachwood at the Southgate shopping center May 17-29. They were lodging at a hotel directly across the street from the woods where Torres-Sepulveda’s was found.

Police Also Report Cause of Death As Hanging Suicide

The tragedy took place in a wooded area near Auburn Drive north of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center. Beachwood police Chief Keith Winebrenner said,

“There was no evidence on the body to indicate any type of struggle, such as bruising, torn clothing, scrapes, scratches, or defensive wounds.”

The Family Deserves Privacy After Tragedy

The sad irony here is that the Universoul Circus not only make kids smile, but also let adults enjoy the performance as well. Performers are people of color and are hired from around the world. The show puts “soul” into performances with music, dancing, and a lot of audience participation. It is a totally different circus experience.

I have attended several performances over the years and even danced in the big ring along with other parents. I hope people are respectful of the new widow’s request that media and social media users stop circulating the pictures. The family deserves to grieve without additional pain from social media.

 Featured Image: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

C. Imani Williams is a human rights and social justice activist. She writes to empower and give voice to those silenced through systematic oppression. Her work has appeared in Between the Lines, Michigan Citizen, Tucson Weekly, Harlem Times, Dope Magazine and various news and popular culture blogs. Follow the unapologetically black political culture critique @ https://twitter.com/Imaniwms and https://www.facebook.com/You-Have-The-Right-540358412796352/?fref=ts