Man who died near parking structure in Anaheim identified as OC school principal

According to police, it's unknown if he jumped or fell from a parking structure in Anaheim, but police believe he died by suicide.

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Monday, December 5, 2022
Man who died at parking structure in Anaheim ID'd as local principal
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According to police, it is not known if he jumped or fell from a parking structure in Anaheim, but police believe he died by suicide.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- A Southern California school district is mourning the tragic loss of a beloved principal.

The Fountain Valley School District said Chris Christensen, a principal at Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach, died on Saturday.

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"Mr. Christensen has been a respected leader in FVSD for over 20 years," read a statement issued by the district. "His contributions and connections to this community are immeasurable. He was a father, husband, brother, and friend to so many. His passing leaves us devastated and heartbroken."

According to police, it is not known if he jumped or fell from a parking structure in Anaheim, but police suspect he died by suicide.

Christensen, who was in his 50s, was scheduled to appear in court on Monday after he was recently charged with misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and battery. He pleaded not guilty to both crimes.

According to FVSD, grief counselors will be available at all schools to help students, staff and their families.

"I too am struggling to find adequate words to convey the shock and heartbreak we are all feeling right now," said FVSD Superintendent Katherine Stopp in the district's statement. "I know that we will find a way to come together as a community and care for one another. Let us all show patience to each other as we work through this time in the next days and weeks."

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (or just by dialing 988) to connect with a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.

New suicide hotline 988 provides counseling for mental health emergencies

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