Two Colorado middle school students from Ute Mountain Ute Tribe die by suicide
American Indian/Alaska Natives have the highest rates of suicide of any racial/ethnic group in the United States
The Ute Mountain Ute and Cortez communities in the Four Corners region are grieving this week after two middle school students died by suicide over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the latest in a growing crisis that has Colorado leaders desperately searching for solutions.
Jeit Redrock Height, 15, and Andrew William Cuch Jr., 14, both were lifelong residents of Towaoc, a town of fewer than 1,100 people on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, said ReeAnna Mills, a spokeswoman for the tribal administration.
“The community is taking it really hard,” Mills said Thursday. “These boys were incredible kids.”
The two students were enrolled in Cortez Middle School, but mostly received education services from the Education Department in Towaoc, according to Montezuma-Cortez superintendent Lori Haukeness.
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Home values from Silt to Parachute are way up, according to tax assessors. That will contribute to a higher tax bill next year.