Atlanta Man Jumps to His Death After Partner Dies
Friends and family are mourning the loss of a man from Atlanta who tragically jumped to his death Monday after his long-term partner died in their home, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reports.
Mark Rhea Castleberry, 55, took his own life by driving over an overpass on his morning commute. He left a note behind in his car that told authorities where to find the body of his partner, Gregory Woodlief, 66, who passed away following a longtime illness.
Woodlief’s body was found in the couple’s Chamblee, Georgia, home. The men wore matching rings and Castleberry, who once worked for the Miss Atlanta Scholarship Pageant, placed his on his partner’s body before leaving Monday morning.
The note also told authorities to contact his sister, Ginger Castleberry Holt.
"My brother pretty much lost his mind and leapt," she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He didn’t want to be in a world that Greg wasn’t."
A medical examiner is still determining the cause of Woodlief’s death, but a police spokeswoman said the death is not being investigated as a homicide. According to police, they are still waiting on toxicology results. Holt says Woodlief’s death was because of natural causes.
Friends apparently knew Woodlief was sick but the men never went into details about the illness.
Castleberry worked for the Miss Atlanta Scholarship Pageant’s volunteer executive from 2000 to 2013 but he resigned after he was arrested on theft charges, admitting to stealing more than $12,000 from two professional acquaintances.
Russell Kirby, co-director of the pageant, said the men, who were together for 30-years, became reclusive after the arrest.
"They were both very proud," he said. "I would imagine he was embarrassed by the whole thing."
According to the DeKalb District Attorney’s office spokesperson, the case had not been presented to a jury but will be dismissed after prosecutors are formally notified of Castleberry’s death.