ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s been nearly four years since 20-year-old Gabriel Cordova Tejada walked out of his St. Petersburg home. He left all of his belongs behind, including the car he used to get to and from his classes at the University of South Florida.
“He left the house while I was at work and his brother was at school and he just left a suicide note and just disappeared we haven’t seen or heard from him since then,” said his mother Angela Tejada.
“He was a really focused boy despite whatever his sickness may be. He was studying in the University of South Florida to be a mechanical engineer...He was getting ready to do the internship that they would require and I think it was also part of he was feeling a lot of pressure.”
Angela Tejada says her son suffered from bipolar disorder but hadn’t had an issue in three years.
She says she can’t help but blame herself. She feels like she should have recognized some signs and done more for her son.
“The only thing I can tell you for sure is that somehow what happened to Gabriel was going to happen sooner or later because we really didn’t know the seriousness of the sickness,” said Tejada. “And, we had very bad guidance from the psychiatrist.”
She’s worried about her other two sons. They’re now 36 and 22-years-old. They both refuse to give up hope.
“In their minds, they don’t want to accept that Gabriel could’ve taken his own life," she said. "They are still dreaming that Gabriel somehow is one day going to somehow reappear. What I feel now is like I’m on my own in the situation, and I’m sorry, I know I’m not going to recover him. Somehow I made peace with it.”