Teen’s death leaves Dowagiac reeling

Published 10:39 am Friday, October 14, 2011

DOWAGIAC — Isaac Longden’s death Thursday, Oct. 6 at 19 left Dowagiac reeling.
If you looked closely at the Under the Harvest Moon Festival Saturday, there was a palpable undercurrent of grief, with his shocked performing arts friends chatting in small groups and comforting each other with hugs.
Those who knew Isaac, who starred as Danny Zuko in Union High School’s musical production of “Grease” in the spring of 2010, remember an upbeat, outgoing, popular guy, but close friends said his life had been an emotional roller coaster since the loss of his father.
One friend said he died where his heart was while alive.
Dowagiac Public Safety Director Tom Atkinson reports that the city Police Department is investigating the death of a male subject that occurred at Dowagiac Middle School.
Police were dispatched to DMS Oct. 6 at approximately 9:55 p.m. for a male subject found dead near the rear of the Performing Arts Center, which Isaac was employed to help manage.
He had also worked at McDonald’s and attended Southwestern Michigan College.
School custodians found the subject and summoned police.
At this time the incident remains under investigation, however, foul play is not suspected.
He apparently hanged himself, but police have not confirmed those reports and, as of Monday, had not released his name.
School officials announced the death on Friday and made grief counseling available.