Man found deceased in car

Sheriff’s department still investigating apparent suicide

An editor’s note: The Caledonia Argus covers stories of a sensitive nature in the hopes of shedding light on very difficult topics.

By Emily Bialkowski
Caledonia Argus

Brandon Werner, 31 of Caledonia, was found deceased in a vehicle parked in a field in Crooked Creek Township off Dunn Road at 9:44 a.m. Nov. 27, according to Houston County Sheriff’s personnel.
Upon arrival, the responding deputy found the vehicle parked in the field with a hose running from the exhaust to an open hole in the vehicle’s window, the sheriff’s department said.
The coroner’s office is conducting further investigation along with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. The incident is believed to be an apparent suicide, the sheriff’s department said.
Werner was raised on a farm in Caledonia, graduated from Caledonia High School in 1999 and continued to work within the local farming industry, his obituary states. His profession gave him the opportunity to explore the country and he expressed his love of southwestern history by collecting many artifacts. In addition to his historical interests, he enjoyed learning German and Spanish. His hobbies included singing karaoke, movies, video games, tractor pulls and hunting with his family.
Werner was considered the strong,  silent, gentle giant amongst his family and friends, and he is survived by his parents, Dale and Lola Werner.
Suicide has long been a difficult topic to discuss, but more and more resources have become available in the Houston County region to address the issue.
Those who are experiencing tumultuous times can call Great Rivers 211 Crisis Line at 211 where free, confidential community information and referrals will be provided. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Whether it’s parenting concerns, putting food on the table, dealing with an abuse situation or just making ends meet, 2-1-1 is a place to make the connections that can help people find answers and prevent problems from getting more serious.
Using a comprehensive resource database, 2-1-1 information and referral specialists listen to a caller’s needs and concerns and helps them make informed decisions while linking them to the right community resources.
They are experienced in: support groups, in-home services, alcohol and drug abuse, suicidal thoughts and feelings, community/cultural events, landlord/tenant issues, relationship/family problems, stress, parenting concerns, depression, unplanned pregnancy, adult and child abuse, victim of sexual abuse, temporary shelter/housing and food resources.
The La Crosse Area Suicide Prevention Initiative also offers these tips.
Know the suicide warning signs
•    Threatening to or talking about wanting to die
•    Increased apathy, hopelessness
•    Poor eating and sleeping habits
•    Acquiring a gun or stockpiling pills
•    Substance abuse
•    Putting personal affairs in order
•    Withdrawal from friends, family and activities usually enjoyed.
The best thing to do if you or someone you know is facing very hard times is to seek help, the initiative states.
•    Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (National Suicide Prevention Hotline)
•    See a doctor or therapist – via clinic, walk-in or emergency room
•    Call 911 or 211.