Unanswered Questions: Evan's story - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Unanswered Questions: Evan's story

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"It was 3:30 in the morning and I opened the door and I could see all of the lights were on. I thought that kid went to bed and forgot to turn off the lights. All of the lights were on downstairs...and I got to the top of the basement stairs...sorry.  That's when you found him?"

It was there, in her basement, that Wendy Christensen came face to face with the unimaginable.  Her 15-year-old son Evan...the kid who loved to be around his family...was gone.  It was there, in her basement, that Wendy's son took his own life.

"My mom called me and I could literally feel my heart hitting the floor."

Alan Mast, Wendy's brother and Evan's uncle, drove an hour to get to his sister's house in the middle of that night.

"They had him where he was...before they moved him. I wanted to see him...I just needed to," Mast said.

Wendy, Alan and the rest of their tight knit family were shocked.  There were no signs they saw leading up to that fateful night.

"Evan was a free-spirit always wanted to do right by people.  Sometimes he felt like he didn't always fit in...just wanted people to like him," Mast said.

"My last day with him I never knew anything was wrong with him. He would always stay up late.  That night he said, it's OK mom, go to bed...I love you," Wendy said.

There were no signs before but Evan left clues behind...like pieces to a puzzle.

"I find out after the fact that he was failing every single subject and I never knew anything about it," Wendy said.

Evan was failing.  And his uncle and grandfather found so many completed assignments in his folders – completed but never handed in.

He cut ties with nearly every single family member on social media.  It was a storm of problems...when Wendy realized she found the lightning bolt that potentially started it all.  

"I found a poem on his phone that somebody sent to him...it basically told him to go hang himself because the world would be a better place if he would. What I want to know is – how could you be so cruel?"

Just days before his death, Evan's grandmother noticed writing on his arms – he quickly covered up – told her it was nothing – told her he was fine.

After he was gone, his family found a picture in his phone – it showed his arms covered in hateful and hurtful words – he texted someone that picture and said “This is what i hear every day at school.”

"That's probably the hardest thing for us to accept – knowing he was open with us...kept so much closed," Mast said.

Were there missed signs all along masked by his beaming smile?

Were there too many "I'm fine" responses?

It's questions like those...moments like that...that continue to haunt Wendy. 

"I hope nobody ever has to go through that. It's the hardest all of the what ifs...I wish he would have come talk to me. I wish I could have helped him. I wish somebody would have told me what was going on," Wendy said.

A family – closer and stronger – but forever broken.  Evan's cousin Kylie – her words – forever etched.

“You have left and I am broken. But for you, Heaven's gates are open. I cried today because there was so much left to say.  Even though I miss your smile, the moments we shared were all the worth while. It wasn't long enough together, but it was long enough to last forever. And while I pray and say amen, I know I will see you again."

"As a mom, what do you miss the most about Evan?" 

"Everything."

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