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Teenage Boy Allegedly Helped Roommate Kill Himself — Then Waited Nearby Until He Heard a Gunshot

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By Jeff Truesdell, People

A New Hampshire teen is accused of assisting the suicide of his roommate, who was found dead of a gunshot in woods near their apartment earlier this month, according to multiple news outlets.

Parker Hogan, 19, entered not-guilty pleas when he was arraigned Tuesday on one count of causing or aiding a suicide and three counts of falsifying physical evidence in the death of 19-year-old Michael Buskey, ABC News and local TV station WMUR report.

Buskey’s death was ruled a suicide after his body was found May 8 near the pair’s Plymouth apartment.

Plymouth police referred questions about the case to Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s call for comment.

However, a court document alleges that Hogan instructed his friend on how to hold a gun to his head and carried a gun, a notebook and a pen to the site of Buskey’s death, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities believe the two went into the woods together and practiced how Buskey could kill himself, after which Hogan says he allegedly left his friend alone and then waited until he heard a gunshot.

Hogan then returned to the scene, where he removed Buskey’s phone that had been playing a song on repeat and retrieved the gun and a note written by Buskey to his family, the court document alleges, according to AP.

The next morning Hogan alerted police and Buskey’s father. Police say Hogan admitted his role and told them his friend had faced an upcoming court date and feared going to jail, according to the court document.

Buskey’s mother, Jennifer Phelps, acknowledged that her son had problems but still questioned what happened to him, she told WMUR.

“He loved helping his friends,” she said. “He was always there for people if they needed him.”

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“I think there’s a lot more behind it,” Phelps said. “My personal opinion — I can’t speak for anybody else — in my personal opinion, I think there’s a lot more behind it than meets the eye.”

She added: “I just hope that everything comes to light and people will see what really happened.”

Hogan is out on bail but is scheduled to be back in court in July. According to WMUR, his attorney, whom PEOPLE could not reach, did not comment after he was arraigned.
Suicide Prevention: What to Know

Experts say some common warning signs of suicide include discussing a desire to die or feeling anxious or hopeless, like a burden, or trapped or in pain; withdrawing from others; extreme mood swings, including anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little).

Many suicides have multiple causes and are not triggered by one event, according to experts, who underline that suicidal crises can be overcome with help. Where mental illness is a factor, it can be treated.

Reaching out to those in need is a simple and effective preventative measure, experts say.

If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.

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