Jessica Starr, Fox 2 in Detroit’s meteorologist, has died tragically. Starr’s passing was announced in a statement from Fox’s Detroit affiliate. The statement reads in part, “All of us here at Fox 2 are in deep shock and cannot believe that such a wonderful, bright, intelligent individual will no longer be with us. Her family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers in the coming days as we all deal with our grief.” It’s believed that Starr took her own life.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with depression or feeling stressed, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741. Their lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. On November 14, Starr Tweeted that She Was Having a ‘Challenging Time’
According to Starr’s Facebook page, in October 2018 she underwent Lasik eye surgery. This led to her being off the air for some time. On November 14, Starr tweeted, “Update; yesterday was a struggle for me. I really wanted to come back but I need more time to recover. Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated.” That post was Starr’s final Twitter post.
A 2008 study said that there was no verified link between Lasik surgery and depression. The study read that those who suffered from depression after their surgery were likely dealing with psychological issues beforehand.
2. Starr Had 2 Meterology Degrees From 2 Universities
Starr was a native of Southfield, Michigan, and grew up in the Commerce Township, according to her Fox 2 profile. Starr attained two separate meteorology degrees from Mississippi State University and from Michigan State University. According to Starr’s LinkedIn page, she had also previously spent time as an auto show model for Toyota. In a 2014 interview, Starr said that she had originally wanted to be a doctor but a high school trip to a morgue changed that. Starr said that she “went to the morgue and I passed out and threw up.” After watching the Weather Channel, Starr said, “I was fascinated with it. Whenever there was a storm, I was glued to the TV.”
She had been working in Detroit since 2012 having previously spent time as a weekend meteorologist in Lansing. Immediately prior to moving to Fox 2, Starr was a weather and community events reporter for Fox’s affiliate in Baltimore, according to her official bio. That profile ends with the lines, “When I’m not at work or at one of my favorite restaurants, you can find me spending time with my husband.”
3. Starr Is Survived by Her Husband, Dan, Their 5-Year-Old Son & a Young Daughter
Starr is survived by her husband, Dan, their five-year-old son, Noah, as well as a young daughter, Riley. Her husband hilariously embarrassed Starr in a live broadcast in March 2016 when he called into her show to talk about their date night, which involved looking at floor samples.
In a 2014 interview, Starr spoke about her home life saying, “A baby will change your life in every way for the better. Everything I do now is for him. He makes me a better woman, a better wife and a better person for the world. Being a mom was something I always wanted to be. Professionally, I just want to keep growing. I’m really happy right now.”
In 2015, just prior to the birth of her second child, Starr went on air to courageously answer an internet troll who had said something cruel. Starr said, “We’re in the public eye, and you have to have a thick skin to be in the media. That’s just part of it, and I’m okay with that. You can not like the hair today; we’re used to that. You can not like the makeup, the outfit, that’s fine. Doesn’t bother me. But, I got a hand-written letter saying that it looks like I’m about to deliver an elephant, and, ‘Isn’t it about time you start your [maternity] leave?’ And I just think that’s crossing the line.”
4. Starr’s Colleague & Fans Are Paying Tribute to Her on Social Media
As news of Starr’s tragic passing spreads, her friends, colleagues and fans have been paying tribute to her on social media. Here are some of the most poignant messages:
5. Starr Went Viral in 2012 After She Wore Green During a Broadcast
In May 2012, Starr went viral shortly after she joined her hometown station. Starr, while off duty, wore green to the Fox set during a broadcast. This meant her clothing disappeared into the radar screen. The special effects used for fusing two pictures or two videos on screen is known as chroma key. Chroma key makes green and blue transparent.