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News Anchor, 27, Takes Her Own Life Just Six Weeks Before Wedding


News Anchor, 27, Takes Her Own Life Just Six Weeks Before Wedding

She had been battling depression.

Former college basketball star Neena Pacholke took her life at her home in Southeast Wausau. It’s unknown how she committed the suicide, but her friends had called 911, informing them she’d been threatening to kill herself.

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Her death comes just six weeks before her wedding to fiancé Kyle Hasse, aged 38. 

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News Anchor, 27, Takes Her Own Life Just Six Weeks Before Wedding 23
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Neena’s family described her as the happiest person they knew. Her co-Wisconsin news anchor Brendan Mackey also claimed she was the brightest light in the room, an incredible friend, & role model. During her high school days at Freedom High School, Tampa, Neena was a star point guard. 

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The 27-Year-Old was also team captain of the basketball team and managed an impressive 25-4 record in senior year.

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via USF Athletics

Her fiancé Kyle is a divorced father of two who is 11 years her senior. It’s unknown how long they’ve been dating, but they were living together. At the time Neena killed herself, Kyle was reportedly not home. “I know she’s not in pain anymore, and I am thankful for that,” a friend of Neena wrote in a Facebook tribute.

They added: “Neena – I love you more than you could ever understand. You were my very best friend. My whole world. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.” 

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In high school, Neena overcame the tragedy of losing her first love, Jordan Harris, to brain cancer. She spoke of the loss in a 2016 interview, expressing how she was in the room with Jordan when he passed away three years earlier. 

Ally Peters, Neena’s best friend, and former colleague alleged she had come to terms with Jordan’s death but missed him.

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“It’s so hard for the community to comprehend what happened because she put on a smile and showed up every morning on the desk,” Peters said.

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“You would think she was the happiest person. She had a lot going on behind the scenes. It’s hard for people to understand but that’s what happens with depression and mental health. It was an on and off thing that we dealt with as her friends. We supported her, but she also hid it pretty well.”

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“It just goes to show you never know what’s going on in someone’s head. I never knew the depths of her despair and sadness.” 

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Peters further alleged that Neena’s mental health struggles worsened in the last few months, but she never thought she would take her life. 

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Her family is currently raising money on GoFundMe. They wrote: “Neena radiated light and love wherever she went. She was a force of kindness, and her laughter and smile were contagious. She was beloved morning news anchor at WAOW in Wausau, Wisconsin, and inspired her community with her storytelling and positivity. We’ve created this GoFundMe to help collect donations for the Pacholke family as they make funeral preparations.”

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The GoFundMe added that any additional money would go to mental health resources. 

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In a statement on its website, WAOW, the network she worked for, said the entire team at News 9 is devastated by the loss. It was alleged Neena was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile, and she will be greatly missed. WAOW urged people to keep her family in their thoughts and shared they would have much more about Neena’s life and legacy later in the week. 

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