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

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.

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


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


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