By Kim Minugh
Linnea Lomax, the 19-year-old UC Davis student found dead last week along the American River, hanged herself, her father said today.
Craig Lomax made the disclosure during a press conference in Placerville called to thank the volunteers who had spent months searching for Lomax, who disappeared 10 weeks ago after leaving a psychiatric hospital.
Lomax had been depressed and fearful that she might fail a final exam at school.
Surrounded by more than a dozen family members and friends, Craig Lomax and his wife, Marianne, talked about their daughter's bright spirit, her rapid descent into mental illness and her tragic end.
"Her delusional fears overcame her," Craig Lomax said in relaying the suicide.
"She is our dear, sweet daughter who could not be loved more," he added later. "Our pain right now is great because our love is great."
The Lomaxes thanked friends and family for their support and the Sacramento community - including throngs of strangers who helped in the search - for its kindness.
"From the homeless to the elite, you made our daughter your daughter," Craig Lomax said. "You made our need inspire your prayers."
They also thanked firefighters, police and mental health professionals who tried to help Linnea.
Craig Lomax said he and Marianne are devastated and unable to see clear solutions right now. However, he said they hope to create change that can prevent other deaths like Linnea's.
"We feel the loss was unnecessary and unavoidable," he said. "We look forward to playing our part in change that saves lives."
The Lomax family also announced that a public memorial service has been scheduled for noon on Sept. 22 at the Green Valley Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville.
Photo caption: Craig Lomax, left and his wife Marianne Lomax react during a news conference at Cold Springs Community Church in Placerville on Tuesday. Photo by Randall Benton / firstname.lastname@example.org