American man asked for ashes to be scattered in Ubud’s Monkey Forest following suspected suicide

Illustration. Photo: Flickr / Fraser Mummery
Illustration. Photo: Flickr / Fraser Mummery

A US national was found hanging from a tree in Ubud this afternoon, with police suspecting that the victim committed suicide after a couple of notes were found at the hotel where he stayed.

Police say that the victim, identified as 51-year-old RPE, was found by two employees from Ubud’s Monkey Forest when they were out to check on the long tailed macaques at the sanctuary.

As they passed by an empty lawn owned by a local resident, they were shocked upon seeing a man hanging from a tree with a plastic rope and proceeded to report their finding to the local pecalang (traditional Balinese security forces), who then reported it to the public order officers (Bhabinkamtibmas).

Based on a medical examination, RPE was suspected to have committed suicide at least two days ago. His body has been brought to the Sanglah General Hospital.

“The cause of the victim’s death is not yet known for certain. However it’s suspected that the victim had depression due to Multiple Sclerosis, according to the management of Tegal Sari Hotel where the victim stayed at, therefore the victim was desperate to end his life by hanging himself. The victim had previously said his intention of ending his life,” Ubud Police Chief I Made Tama said.

Authorities found two notes believed to have been left by RPE at the hotel, which contained his wishes to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered at the Monkey Forest. He also asked hotel staff to mail out several letters, as well as notifying them of the location of his passport.

In another note, RPE thanked the staff at Tegal Sari Hotel, saying that his time at the hotel was “the best time of his life” and told them not to be sad of his passing. He also wanted them to donate his clothes and his bluetooth speaker.

Indonesia currently does not have a dedicated government-run suicide prevention hotline, but if you or anyone you know is suffering from depression and/or contemplating suicide, you can get more information and resources from several local NGOs dealing with mental health and suicide prevention, such as


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