Navy Officer's Death a Puzzle

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Sometimes human behavior makes no sense. At least with the facts on hand. A story out of the Philippines falls under this category -- a U.S. Naval Officer jumped to his death when cocaine was found in his baggage.

He was arrested, and while in handcuffs, he ran up a flight of stairs and jumped off, killing himself. The part that doesn't make any sense is that the substance thought to be cocaine wasn't. It wasn't drugs at all. Subsequent testing revealed the white powder, although still unknown, definitely wouldn't have resulted in a charge of any kind.

The story says, "Lt. Cmdr. Scintar Buenviaje Mejia died of head injuries after jumping from a second-floor staircase Monday while a security guard escorted him to the bathroom."

It also mentions that when the "drugs" were discovered, the Officer yelled and claimed he'd been set up. And that might be the answer to the puzzle.

In a world where a small package of cocaine can ruin a career and put you in jail, even the thought of being prosecuted might be enough to send an innocent man down the route to suicide. After all, we know he wasn't really smuggling drugs, so why else would he kill himself?

Cynics will argue that he might have thought they were drugs and knowingly been smuggling them for someone else. But does it really matter? With no realistic outlook other than a dishonorable discharge and jail, he felt he had no choice.

Sadly, neither we nor his family may ever know the story behind his suicide in any greater detail. There was no crime committed and nothing to investigate. It will probably remain a puzzle.

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