JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – A medical examiner in San Diego says a Colorado native took his own life. 19-year-old Lance Corporal Riley Schultz, was found deceased at Camp Pendleton.
Schultz, a graduate of Johnstown High School, was guarding a motor pool in California when he died.
“When a fellow Marine arrived to relieve him, Lance Cpl. Schultz was found [dead],” according to statement from the 1st Marine Division Press Office.
Described as short in stature, but larger than life in will and personality, Schultz is being remembered as a true American patriot. Longtime neighbor, and family friend, William Seal said Schultz was loving life as a Marine.
“He was ready for the Marines. I don’t think the Marines were ready for him,” Seal said. “He never quit, he could never give up.”
Seal said Schultz was one of the first people he met when he moved in to his Loveland home. While moving boxes, a young redheaded boy with freckles approached him. In the years to come Seal would grow closer with the family, even taking Schultz on fishing trips.
His mother, Misty Schultz-McCoy, tells the newspaper her son wanted to become a Marine since he was a young boy.
Seal said the family was notified by military personnel of the loss on March 16, after Schultz’s body was located.
“Two men in dress blues showed up at the door, and informed them that Riley had been shot in the head. There is no way to cushion that,” Seal said.
“[Riley] was guarding the motor pool. Went out to make his rounds, and never came back,” Seal said.
“He was only 19 years old and we are completely devastated by his early death,” Schultz-McCoy wrote on Facebook.
Schultz’s body was expected to be flown to Denver International Airport on Thursday, with an expected arrival time of 2:38 p.m.
“(Riley was) one of the most selfless little kids I have ever met,” Seal said. “He wanted to be somebody that made a difference in somebody else’s life. Heck of a guy. Heck of a kid. He would’ve been somebody. He would’ve been somebody great.”
Schultz will be laid to rest after a funeral on April 6th an Immanuel Lutheran Church in Loveland.
Schultz-McCoy has set up a scholarship fund in his honor. Donations can be made through Facebook.
“Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Marines who are experiencing thoughts of suicide are advised to call the DSTRESS Line at 1-877-476-7734. The DSTRESS Line is a 24/7/365 Marine-specific call center providing phone, chat, and video-telephone capability for anonymous, non-medical, short-term and solution-focused counseling for circumstances across the stress continuum,” officials stated.
If you are in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK