After Husbands' Suicides, 'Best Widow Friends' Want Police Officers To Reach For HelpNPR
SAMANTHA BALABAN JAMES DOUBEK
June 9, 2019
Nicole Rikard's husband, John Rikard, died by suicide in 2015. She talks with three other widows of police suicide every day.
Nicole Rikard had recently married Sgt. John Rikard of the Asheville Police Department in North Carolina. He had an 8-year-old son, Tucker, from a previous marriage. From the time Nicole and John started dating, they had scarcely been apart.
Soon after they married, however, Nicole had to go to Florida for some work training — she was a crime scene investigator in the same police department. John worked an overnight shift and would call her when he woke up to check in.
But one day, John wasn't answering her texts. Nicole heard from a colleague that he hadn't shown up for work either.
Stuck hundreds of miles away in Florida, Nicole got on the phone with John's colleagues in Asheville. She told the police to break into their house.
Thirty-six agonizing minutes went by. Nicole was vomiting in the shower.
She finally got a phone call from one of John's lieutenants.
"Well, John is gone. And it appears to be self-inflicted," the lieutenant told her.
"And I said, 'What the f*** are you talking about?'"
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