The grieving mom of a Texas airport worker who died after jumping into a Delta jet engine does not believe he took his life and insists his death was an ‘accident.’
Courtney McDowell has demanded to see the suicide note her son David Renner, 27, reportedly ‘wrapped in a $1 bill and handed to his supervisor’ before ending his life.
McDowell said her son spoke to her about suicide prior to his death at San Antonio International Airport on June 23 – but said he’d ‘never do that’ to her.
The Indiana resident revealed how she had carried Renner’s younger brother to term but the baby died during child birth.
McDowell said the family tragedy was part of the reason Renner said he wouldn’t end his life – despite the coroner’s office and authorities ruling his death as suicide.
Courtney McDowell’s (right) son David Renner, 27, (left) died after jumping into a Delta jet engine at San Antonio International Airport on June 23
McDowell revealed that her son had spoken to her about suicide prior to ending his life but said that he’d ‘never do that’ to her
‘He was little when it happened, but he remembers how it affected me and he said, ”I will never do that to you mom cause I know how much it will hurt you”,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Renner was ‘ingested’ into the engine of Delta Flight 1111 which had just arrived from Los Angeles and was taxiing to a gate.
A witness told authorities Renner walked to the captain’s side of the aircraft, bent down and jumped up into the engine at about 10:25pm.
The plane had just one engine on at the time when Renner ‘intentionally stepped in front of the live engine,’ according to a source briefed on his death.
The plane remained at the gate the next morning and flights in the airport were delayed.
She remembered Renner as a person with a ‘big heart and infectious smile’
McDowell said ‘no one is talking to me’, adding that most of the news about her son had been coming from the media.
She said she has made multiple calls to his place of work Unifi Aviation, the National Transportation Safety Board, the San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office and San Antonio Airport to no avail.
‘No one is talking to me. I’m his mother and no one is telling me anything,’ she said.
‘I’ve called and called and called and no one, they all keep telling me to call this person or that person, and no one wants to tell me anything.’
The devastated mother said the incident must have been an accident despite local authorities and the coroner’s office determining it a suicide.
‘I believe that David wasn’t paying attention maybe and he got in the way. I believe it was an accident,’ she said.
‘Everybody gets depressed sometimes, and he had said to me that he thought about killing himself, but he said ‘right mom, I know we’ve talked about that before, but I want you to know I will never do that to myself’ because I’ve already lost a son.’
McDowell remembered Renner as a person with a ‘big heart and infectious smile.’
‘David had a big heart, he would help anyone. He loved making people laugh and had an infectious smile,’ she said.
McDowell, who lives in Indiana, revealed how she had carried Renner’s younger brother to term but the baby died during child birth
She said his younger brother’s death was the reason Renner (pictured) promised her he would never end his life
The NTSB told DailyMail.com that based on information provided by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office provided to them they would not be opening an investigation into Renner’s death.
‘There were no operational safety issues with either the airplane or the airport,’ a spokesperson from the NTSB said.
‘The NTSB does not determine the manner of death.’
San Antonio Police Department said ‘the Medical Examiner’s Office has spoken with the family’ adding that a ‘full investigative reports take a minimum of 12 weeks.’
The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday ruled Renner’s death a suicide and confirming the airport staffers identity with the report.
Courtney McDowell (L) posted a harrowing tribute on Facebook alongside a picture of her son DavidRenner (R) saying: ‘I can’t believe this is real, I close my eyes and I see your smile’
Unifi Aviation, where Renner worked, echoed that the coroner’s office which determined the death as a suicide.
They released a statement Saturday saying: ‘We are heartbroken and grieving the loss of an aviation family member’s life in San Antonio.
‘Our hearts and full support are with their family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.’
San Antonio airport officials also said they were ‘saddened’ by the worker’s death.
Renner’s brother, Joshua, told DailyMail.com in the wake of the tragedy that ‘David’s childhood was complicated at times’ as he was separated among two households.
‘This isn’t the first time David has tried something like this from my knowledge,’ Joshua said.
‘There were other times. This time I thought it was different.’
The scene at San Antonio International Airport on the night of June 23 when Renner reportedly walked to the captain’s side of the aircraft, bent down and jumped into the engine
The Delta plane remained at the gate the next morning and flights in the airport were delayed as a result of the tragedy which the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled as suicide
The Delta plane that ‘ingested’ Renner arrived at the airport Friday night.
Renner was working for a company that Delta contracts for ground support. An autopsy found that he died from blunt and sharp force injuries.
Joshua said there were no hints that Renner was thinking of self-harming.
‘The reason I say that is because he was almost five months clean and living every day to the fullest,’ he said, claiming ‘there was zero indication this time.’
‘David had been clean for over eight months, was in therapy, [was] actively taking his prescribed medication and had finally become the David we all knew he could be.’
Joshua said his older brother ‘loved magic.’
‘He was always trying to perform some little sleight of hand for his friends and family,’ he recounted.
‘He also loved making people laugh – he made it his mission to tell everyone at least one joke a day.’
Joshua said there were no hints his David (left and right) was thinking of self-harming: ‘The reason I say that is because he was almost five months clean and living every day to the fullest’
Joshua, told DailyMail.com his brother had been clean for more than eight months and had ‘finally become the David we all knew he could be’ before his death
But, he said, his older brother had struggled with his mental health in the past.
Their parents ‘were making sure that he was taking good care of himself’ prior to his death.
Joshua said his family is now ‘doing the best they can do right now,’ noting that ‘some days are tougher than others.
‘David is one of many others that suffer with mental illness and it’s not always very clear to us to see,’ he said.
He is urging people to reach out when they notice someone is struggling ‘because someone random can save a life to a random stranger.’
‘The simplest smile can always make a difference,’ he said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255. An online chat is also available.