The tragic tale of a 22-year-old aspiring fashion designer who took her own life by jumping from the George Washington Bridge on Wednesday —allegedly a victim of bullying, according to the NY Post — has attracted widespread attention on social networking sites.
Riders on a jitney bus saw Ashley A. Riggitano, originally from Paramus, plunge from the New Jersey-bound lanes at around 4:40 p.m., the report said. She reportedly left a Louis Vuitton bag containing pages of notes in a "suicide diary," which included a list of five women banned from her funeral, on the bridge walkway.
A Facebook page, “R.I.P. Ashley Riggitano” surfaced on Friday quickly getting tens of hundreds of ‘likes’ just hours after it was created. Condolences quickly poured in, with many carrying a strong anti-bullying message. Several posters used the phrase, “tragic ending for a beautiful girl."
“This is such a sad story :( I'm so sorry you felt like you had to do this, girls are truly cruel sometimes. RIP Ashley!,” wrote Nicole Leffler.
“R.I.P Sweetie Pie Ashley! This news made me cry. That's why I am in the fight against BULLYING,” wrote Michelle Hill.
Riggitano was apparently bullied by friends in the fashion industry, according to the Post report. The girls banned from her funeral were reportedly from work and college.
“All my other ‘friends’ are in it for gossip,” she wrote in the letter, the Post reported. “Never there.”
Riggitano had attempted to commit suicide before, the newspaper reported.
The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising student interned with Tommy Hilfiger, Nicole Miller and jewelry designer Alex Woo.
“The entire LIM College community is saddened by the loss of Ashley. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time," school spokeswoman Meredith Finnin said in a statement.
She founded a company called Missfits, where she designed jewelry. The company was part of efforts to raise money for a young Bergen County boy battling cancer.
Riggitano is the daughter of Roy Riggitano, the Chief Financial Officer of Elmwood Park, according to NorthJersey.com. She graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, according to the NorthJersey.com report.
The George Washington Bridge saw a record number of suicides last year, with 18 people leaping to their deaths.