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2 Suicides, in Flagler Beach and at Palm Coast Econo Lodge, Bring Year’s Total to 19

| December 11, 2017

Sharon Keeler lost her husband Karl to a vehicle crash earlier this month. Over the weekend, Sharon committed suicide at her Flagler Beach home. (Facebook)

Sharon Keeler lost her husband Karl to a vehicle crash earlier this month. Over the weekend, Sharon died by suicide at her Flagler Beach home. (Facebook)

Saturday and Sunday authorities in Palm Coast and Flagler Beach reported two more suicides, bringing the year’s total to 19. There’s been three reported suicides in the last six days.


Sharon Elizabeth Keeler, 66, of 12 Tobias Lane in Flagler Beach, and Seth Michael Rice, 47, of Jupiter, were the weekend’s victims.

Rice, a manager at a Taco Bell in Jupiter, had been staying at the Econo Lodge on Palm Coast’s Kingswood Drive and had texted someone his intention to kill himself, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s report.  When deputies entered Room 201 at 1:23 Saturday morning, they found Rice on the bathroom floor with a gunshot wound to the head (and a gunshot hole in the bathroom wall). He was unconscious but still breathing.

Flagler County Rescue 22 took Rice to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach (Florida Hospital Flagler does not have a trauma unit), where he died from his injury.

A couple had been staying in Room 203. They told authorities that at about 1 a.m. they heard “a loud noise coming from the area of room 201,” according to a report, “however, they did not think at the time it was a gunshot, so they did not report the noise.”

The room was turned over to a crime scene investigation unit and to detectives to process the room for evidence. Deputy Alex Perez of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reported that he’d responded to a call for service from a Robert Ackman, “who received a text message from Seth stating that he was sorry for stealing his gun,” the report states. “Deputy Perez confirmed the gun was the same used in the suicide.”

On Sunday, deputies were dispatched to Tobias Lane, in the Plantation Oaks subdivision off Old Kings Road, as Keeler’s family had been unable to reach her. Keeler was visible to deputies from outside the house but she was not responding. A neighbor who’d helped Keeler watch her cats when she’d be away provided a key to the house.

Keeler was in the master bedroom. She had apparently asphyxiated herself with a bag and a bungee cord wrapped around the neck.

The same approach was followed that authorities follow at such scenes, wrapping crime-scene tape around the property, summoning detectives and the crime scene investigation unit, and processing the scene.

Authorities learned that Keeler’s husband, Karl, had died earlier this month after a vehicle crash. Sharon had been in the vehicle as well. (Both had also been in a motorcycle crash 22 years ago in New Hampshire, where they were from.) A neighbor told deputies that Sharon had been very depressed over her husband’s death—and had taken a turn for the worse when a tow truck took away her car and she was told she was being investigated for vehicular homicide. (It is part of investigators’ protocol to impound a vehicle that’s part of such an investigation.)

The neighbor had last spoken Sharon Keeler at 1:30 p.m. Saturday by phone. Deputies removed two handguns from the residence for safekeeping.

The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:

In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Administrative Phone: (904) 947 – 4270
Crisis Line: (800) 539 – 4228
Available 24 hours.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255.

If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here.

See the University of South Florida’s Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide here.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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8 Responses for “2 Suicides, in Flagler Beach and at Palm Coast Econo Lodge, Bring Year’s Total to 19”

  1. Wishful Thinking says:

    So so sad that these poor souls were so tragically overwhelmed with happenings in their life that they chose death. I feel blessed to love life too much to ever think of ending it ,and I pray to God I never lose that feeling like they, and others have. May they rest in peace.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It leaves a terrible stain on us all and calls on us to put aside our American standard of privacy, to never leave alone anyone in joy or sorrow, anyone who might need help, advice or comforting!

    The case of Seth Michael Rice is of particular interest. Why did he have a gun? Where did he get it?

    Secondly, I believe as a community every suicide should be examined in light of the victim’s sexual orientation. So many voices are out there telling members of the LGBT community that they are aberrant, they are God’s mistakes, they are endlessly evil. We need to counter those voices.

    I hope I am wrong and not a single suicide here or anywhere is found to have an LGBT component!

  3. Merrill Shapiro says:

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It leaves a terrible stain on us all and calls on us to put aside our American standard of privacy, to never leave alone anyone in joy or sorrow, anyone who might need help, advice or comforting!

    The case of Seth Michael Rice is of particular interest. Why did he have a gun? Where did he get it?

    Secondly, I believe as a community every suicide should be examined in light of the victim’s sexual orientation. So many voices are out there telling members of the LGBT community that they are aberrant, they are God’s mistakes, they are endlessly evil. We need to counter those voices.

    I hope I am wrong and not a single suicide here or anywhere is found to have an LGBT component!

  4. Trailer Bob says:

    So sad that some feel so helpless in life.

  5. MrG says:

    very sad indeed

  6. Jenn says:

    It truly is heartbreaking that they could not find the help that they needed. Stewart Marchman is a joke and there is really no place for them to go to get help. What are they going to do Baker Act them for 72 hours and then release them that’s not going to solve the problem or help them. My heart breaks for their family and friends and I hope they both will rest in peace

  7. Carol Fisher says:

    Such sad stories about people that are so despondent that they can’t see any way out. Thank you Flagler Live for providing information about suicide prevention.

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