Michigan State Police are considering the possibility of suicide in the death of a young Detroit, Michigan, doctor who was found in the passenger seat of his car May 4, about 90 miles away from his home.
Ramesh Kumar, 32 at the time of his death, was a resident in the urology department at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The Indian American doctor was the son of Narendra Kumar, former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and Meenakshi ‘Minni’ Kumar. He also leaves behind his sister, Sarada Das.
Sgt. David Stamler of the Michigan State Police, Jackson Post, told India-West May 10 that there was no evidence of foul play determined in the ongoing investigation. “There is nothing to indicate that this was not self-inflicted,” he said, noting that the investigation is still ongoing.
“There is no evidence to indicate that anyone else was involved. This does not appear to be foul play,” said Stamler.
Michigan State Police are waiting for the results of an autopsy, which was conducted May 5, and toxicology reports. Stamler said it could take several weeks to get the findings from those reports.
Police have not released information about Kumar’s manner of death, nor whether a note was found to indicate a suicide.
Kumar’s family held a memorial service May 6 for the young doctor, who was training to become a urological surgeon. A smaller service was held at the family’s home May 7 in Saginaw, Michigan, where Ramesh grew up. Kumar was cremated May 8.
Narendra Kumar, Ramesh Kumar’s father, told India-West there was no possibility his son would have committed suicide. “Everything was going very well for him. He had a great career track and good friends,” said Kumar, who served as the president of AAPI from 2012-2013.
“This was not self-inflicted,” said the father, querying why his son would have traveled so far away to harm himself. “He could have done that in his apartment,” said Kumar. He added that the area where his son’s body was found – a rest stop on a highway at some distance from his home – was not an area he would have normally gone to.
Kumar said he spoke to his son the night before he was found dead. “He told me he had done six operations all by himself and that his mentor had told him his surgical skills were far superior to his level of residency,” said the heart-broken father.
“He told me, ‘Daddy, I know where I got those skills from,’” said Kumar, who is an ear, nose and throat specialist in Saginaw. “Ramesh told me he loved urology,” Kumar told India-West, adding: “He had such a magnetic personality: he drew so many people to him.”
Kumar noted that the chairman of the urology department at Henry Ford Hospital spoke at his son’s memorial service to say he had never come across such a promising resident: the “star” of his department.
Kumar’s sister, Sarada Das, has set up a charitable foundation in her brother’s memory, gathering funds on the crowdsourcing platform youcaring.com. As of May 10, Das had raised more than $21,000 in two days.
Friends and associates poured in tributes to Kumar on the page: http://bit.ly/2qsLeay
Kya Russell, a registered nurse at Henry Ford Hospital, wrote: “I've worked alongside him for a few years in the recovery area of HFH and I'm so deeply saddened by Ramesh's passing; we all really are. He has such an infectious personality and a smile that radiated such warmth.”
Sherrie Corbin, also a registered nurse who worked alongside Kumar in the operating room, wrote that she was heartbroken to hear of her friend’s death.
“His smile would light up the hallway and his personality made you enjoy his presence. His bedside manner with the patients made you warm inside to see him working,” said Corbin.
Educator Suzanne Murphy wrote: “From the time Ramesh was in my 5th grade classroom, I knew his dream of becoming a physician. He achieved this dream and is remembered as bright shining star.”