Man dies day after he's found hanging from tree

By Fred Kelly

October 18, 2002

A Noblesville man -- mistaken for a Halloween decoration by motorists after he apparently hanged himself from a tree -- has died.

Bryon Tharp, 42, died Wednesday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis when doctors unhooked a life-support machine.

Noblesville police said he apparently hung himself about 7 p.m. Tuesday from a tree in the front yard of his home at 1241 Cherry St.

There were no signs of foul play, police said.

A neighbor walking by the yard discovered Tharp with a television cable wrapped around his neck, Cpl. Edie Kesee said.

Passing motorists apparently did not realize he was hanging from the tree, Kesee said.

"Hanging in a tree like that, people thought it was a Halloween prank and didn't think anything about it," she said.

"(The passer-by) thought it looked too real and saw some movement."

When police arrived, Tharp had a heartbeat, but was not breathing. Police tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive Tharp before emergency workers took him to Riverview Hospital in Noblesville. He later was transferred to Methodist.

Authorities said Tharp had tried to kill himself earlier Tuesday, but a relative stopped him.

Police did not say exactly why he wanted to commit suicide. Kesee would only say Tharp had been "very depressed."

Family members said Tharp had not worked in several years because he suffered neck and back injuries in a work-related accident. He had worked as a handyman and painter.

His mother, Rosemary Davis of Noblesville, said her son had been "happy-go-lucky" until the injury. His wife later died of lung cancer.

He was the father of an 18-year-old daughter, who lives in Westfield.

Funeral services have been set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Randall & Roberts Funeral Home, 1150 Logan St., Noblesville.