Hero Down: Highlands County Sheriff's Sgt. Max Van D'Huynslager Dies Of Suicide

Holly Matkin

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Max Van D’Huynslager was a law enforcement officer for over 15 years.

Highlands County, FL – Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Max Van D’Huynslager died from a self-inflicted injury on Saturday morning, according to his department.

Sgt. Van D’Huynslager, 42, served as a law enforcement officer for over 15 years, having worked for the Cape Coral Police Department, the Clewiston Police Department, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office prior to joining the HCSO on Mar. 5, 2008, The Ledger reported.

In January of 2018, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and headed up the agency’s Tactical Anti-Crime Unit.

“We are stunned and heartbroken by this tragedy,” Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman told The Ledger. “We ask for prayers and support for his family, friends and our agency family.”

Sgt. Van D’Huynslager leaves behind his wife and eight-year-old daughter, the agency said.

“Rest assured that the Sheriff’s Office is doing everything possible to comfort Max’s family, as well as all of our members, to help everyone get through the coming days and weeks,” Sheriff Blackman continued. “We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy during this most difficult of times.”

The department said that Sgt. Van D’Huynslager was not on shift when a gunman murdered five women inside the SunTrust Bank in Sebring, and that their deaths had nothing to do with his.

The HCSO urged anyone struggling with mental health issues to contact a member of the department.

“We have resources standing by,” the agency said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Max Van D’Huynslager, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (9)
Mom2Boys
Mom2Boys

I feel forvhim. What was torturing him do? God comfort and bless the wife and daughter left to figure it out.

No. 1-9
NickyJ
NickyJ

I feel so sorry for his family. May he Rest In Peace 🙏

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Rest in peace, Sergeant Van D’Huynslager. May God be with your family, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service to your various communities.

Spothors
Spothors

The murders of 5 women had nothing to do with this because he wasn't on duty? Seriously? May God wrap his loving arms around his friends and family both blood and blue.

61mouse
61mouse

Instead of killing themselves seem like the LEAST they can do is get killed in the line of duty , so the family is taking care of financially with pension and all . Because when I commit suicide the family gets nothing

Kevcali
Kevcali

Are you contemplating suicide? You say "when I commit suicide"... Did you mean to say "If I commit suicide the family gets nothing?"

LynnSB
LynnSB

Breaks my heart to see another Officer has taken his own life ~ PLEASE walk away, seek help -- God Bless you ALL - their are MANY of us who care about you -- this is not the way ~ Rest in Peace Sergeant Van D’Huynslager

Bhagler
Bhagler

So very sad. PTSD and or Depression/Anxiety is very real in the profession. The helper's need just as much help too.

turkeythumper
turkeythumper

I just want to say, I knew Max and just because he took his life does not say he was depressed or had depressing issues. In fact, I almost took my life and I was a Sheriff Deputy as well, if I was not lucky enough to have my wife laying beside me, I would probably not be able to write this message now. I was not depressed, I had just got marred seven day's before and went on a 6 mile hike with my son. One night at 11:14 PM, I experienced a pain I wanted to kill, I wanted it to end at all and any cost. I didn't know what happened, didn't know what a Brain Arianism felt like. The pain is caused from Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is treatable but not curable. I still have the pains, nothing like they could be, I still feel it and still terrified of it. I thank God that nothing happened, others aren't that fortunate. Depression, is not always a cause. I'm living proof. I have often thought to myself, how many people commit suicide that have that kind of pain? When you have no note, no time to write one, furthest thing from your mind. The kids, wife, family money, nothing mattered to me when it hit, I just wanted it over. You can never be able to comprehend that kind of pain, it's actually the worst pain known to man and in'fact, it is called the Suicide Disease if untreated. That should tell you a whole lot. In this case, I dunno, but with stress, I feel it more, perhaps when you have a stress dump, maybe it can come to the surface to show itself, I dunno. This post is for informational purposes only and speaking and pertaining to known facts that I experience. God Bless us all and I will miss you Max..


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