Former 'The Bachelor' bachelorette Alexa McAllister's sister-in-law talks suicide: No one knew her mood disorders, fueled by alcohol, were that bad
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/17/2016
Alexa McAllister's death still remains a shocking mystery to her "devastated" family because she seemed generally "happy" despite "whispers" the former The Bachelor bachelorette struggled with depression and bipolar disorder.
Alexa died Tuesday morning at age 31 in Grant Medical Center in Columbus, OH, after an apparent suicide attempt, but just two weeks ago, her sister-in-law Julie Turner McAllister saw Alexa "happy," Peoplereported.
"She was smiling... She loved to make everybody else feel wonderful, and she wanted to change someone else's life. I don't think she ever really realized how fabulous she was," Julie told the magazine, explaining that no one saw this coming or ever even thought of the possibility Alexa would take her own life.
"We've looked through her phone, we've looked through her messages and we can't find anything."
According to police records, Alexa reportedly threatened to kill herself in a text on Saturday and then was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Julie, an ER nurse, said Alexa had taken a "combination of two different prescription medications, and Tylenol and Aspirin."
"She was brought to my facility while I was at work. So I was there with her, and so was her brother, my husband, who's a police officer for the city," Julie said. "So we were both with her at all times. We were there when she came in, and she was alert at first, and then her health just declined rapidly, I think from the pills settling in her body."
Alexa's whole family rushed to her side in order to say their goodbyes. Although they were somewhat aware of Alexa's mood disorders, they had no idea "it was this bad."
"You could see different phases in her, the manic and the depressive states, and sometimes when alcohol would become involved, it just spiraled," Julie told People. "I think that she had a really rough week last week and I think maybe she was drinking a little bit more, I think it spiraled into something that she just couldn't get ahold of."
Julie, a mom of four who's been married to Alexas' brother Josh for over 18 years, believes Alexa felt really alone the day she took the pills.
"It sounds like, from what we've been able to piece together, that she reached out to some acquaintances to get together or hang out and they were all busy and she didn't tell any of us," Julie revealed, adding that family was in such close reach.
"We all live within 15 minutes of each other. It was odd if we didn't see each other a few times a month. Like big family get-togethers... everybody was always included."
Alexa, a former radio host, reportedly adored her nieces and nephews: Kyleigh, 14, Klaire, 12, Kenzie, 8, and Joshua, 3.
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"She thought my girls were the most beautiful girls and she thought all of the boys were the most handsome boys, they could not do anything wrong. She loved being their aunt," Julie insisted.
Kyleigh and Klaire apparently understand how Alexa passed away, but little Kenzie was told her aunt was sick.
"The most endearing thing [Kenzie] said was, 'Mommy, if I could turn back the clock I wouldn't,' and I said, 'Why honey?' And she said, 'Because I don't want Aunt Lexi to live that moment anymore.' And she's right," Julie admitted.
Alexa competed on The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love, which aired in early 2010. She was billed as a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Galloway, OH, and was eliminated during the very first Rose Ceremony.
Although Alexa's stint on the show didn't last long, Julie insisted the former bachelorette was "very glad" she gave it a try.
"Lexi is very 'empower women' and she had the attitude going into it that she would love to find love, but if not, she wanted to use this to... teach women to be independent and they can do anything," Julie said.
Alexa -- dubbed a "protective" sister, daughter and aunt -- reportedly longed for love and unfortunately hadn't found it prior to her death.
Julie also revealed her family will lay Alexa to rest in "typical Lexi style" because she "wanted a closed casket."
"She said she didn't want people walking by and gawking at her. And she's always said that she wanted to be cremated because she doesn't like to be alone and she doesn't like to be in the dark. So that's what we'll do with her," Julie told People.
Julie hopes sharing Alexa's story may touch other people struggling with depression and inspire them to contact out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
"If we reach one person, than maybe one part of this was worth it," she said in tears.