09/16/2010 03:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Evanston Pipe Bomb Explosion Was Suicide, Says Family

The explosion of a pipe bomb in Evanston that killed a young man was apparently a suicide, his family reports.

Colin Dalebroux's body was found early Tuesday after an explosion in Fitzsimons Park woke neighbors. One pipe bomb had apparently detonated, removing Dalebroux's head; a second one was found in his backpack, which police disabled later in the day.

Dalebroux's family issued a statement from their home in Madison, Wisconsin. "We are devastated that our beloved son, Colin Dalebroux, lost his 15-year battle with depression," they wrote. "We know that Colin committed suicide."

According to the Sun-Times, the Evanston police is awaiting forensic evidence from the FBI before they reach the same conclusion. But they confirmed that the 21-year-old Dalebroux had struggled with mental health issues, and that he was acting alone.

The Chicago Tribune spoke with a personal friend of Dalebroux's, who described Colin's character and his struggle with psychiatric problems:

His close friend Brendan Carroll, 20, of La Crosse, Wis., said Dalebroux's struggle was no secret among those who knew him well. Dalebroux normally had a funny, open personality, Carroll said, but he sometimes withdrew, pushing away the people who cared about him.


That's why it seemed sensible for Dalebroux to leave Madison for Evanston, where, Carroll said, he was getting treatment at a psychiatric clinic and planning to take classes at Oakton Community College. He seemed to be doing well until the awful news arrived, Carroll said.

"He really touched a lot of people's lives," Carroll said. "A lot of people liked him. He couldn't really see how great of a person he was."

The explosion that took Dalebroux's life took place just outside of Nichols Middle School in Evanston. The school was closed Tuesday and Wednesday while the case was investigated, but reopened for classes Thursday.