Haitian-American college student takes own life after breaking sprint record, authorities say

Stephen Nartey January 24, 2024
Flordan 'Flo' Bazile: Photo credit: UMass Dartmouth SGA via Instagram

A standout student-athlete, Flordan ‘Flo’ Bazile, who broke a college sprint record, has committed suicide after leaving a heart-wrenching farewell on social media, authorities said.

The 21-year-old, whose remains were retrieved from the Massachusetts River this past Tuesday, is being mourned by his UMass Dartmouth classmates following his demise.

The young athlete revealed his years-long battle with depression in an emotional farewell before his body was found in the river and confirmed the cause of death, as reported by Daily Mail.

UMass Dartmouth’s athletics department described Bazile as “hard-working,” “passionate,” and “determined,” and added he was a “champion” and “great friend” in their statement. A celebration of his life is scheduled for Thursday at the university’s auditorium.

Bazile, who is Haitian American, was last seen on campus on January 15 before he reportedly took his own life, with his body recovered in the Acushnet River seven miles away.

“Hey everyone… this was scheduled to post after you know…” Bazile’s final post reads.

“First things first, I am sorry I am sorry to all my loved ones, my friends, anyone whose life I was in that is affected by this. I’m a hypocrite and a coward for taking the easy way it[sic].”

He revealed how he had been struggling internally with depression since and possibly before beginning his academic journey at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In his farewell statement, Bazile, also known as “Flo,” revealed that he had been dealing with depression for the past few years, which is a stark contradiction of the perception of him as a cheerful and lively individual.

He noted that his public persona as the always-smiling, laughter-inducing person, was a walking deception. “This may come off as a big shocker, as anyone that knows me knows I’m the happy, smiley, making everyone in the room laugh type of guy that just seems to never really be down,” said Bazile, who broke his college’s 100-meter sprint record.

“Sometimes the mask would slip and someone who knows me would see and come up to me but I tried my hardest to make sure that didn’t happen. Mainly because I don’t like people to worry about me or have a thought that I wasn’t okay and would hit me with the ‘are you ok?”’

“[W]hich the default answer would be ‘yes’ followed with a laugh after,” he went on. “I had so many loving people around me yet I felt so alone. I am a people person that didn’t like myself. I am genuinely just an unhappy person.”

In his post, Bazile disclosed that he was grappling with what appeared to be textbook clinical depression. Despite an outwardly positive upbringing with a loving family and supportive older sister, he revealed that when alone in his room, his thoughts would wander, indicating the internal struggles he faced.

“I realize now that thats[sic]  probably why I was always involved in so much things, just doing anything and everything just so I wasn’t alone.

“To anyone I’ve ever hurt or done wrong, I am truly sorry. I have no excuse for what I did, I was only thinking about myself and I hate that that’s [sic] the last memory you have of me.’

He thanked those whose lives he touched, whether he brought joy or made them angry. The track athlete also apologized for creating false hope, making empty promises, and discussing the future, revealing that deep down, he knew this tragic event would occur. In a chilling signoff, he pleaded with friends and family for understanding regarding his choice.

The New Bedford native was discovered in approximately 15 feet of water north of the Coggeshall Street Bridge after extensive searches by authorities. He was last seen leaving an on-campus dormitory in the early morning before being reported missing.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the discovery and officially declared it a suicide.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 24, 2024


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