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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Kosta Karageorge's Football Concussions, Depression and Suicide

     In 2009 Kosta Karageorge graduated from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio, a suburb north of Columbus where the 6-foot-5, 285-pound athlete wrestled and played football. After high school Karageorge continued his wrestling career at nearby Ohio State University.

     In the fall of 2014 the 22-year-old fifth year senior joined the Ohio State football team as a walk-on. The defensive lineman played in one game in which he recorded a single tackle against Penn State.

     During his football playing years, Karageorge suffered several concussions, the last one occurring in September 2014.

     At one-thirty in the morning on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Kosta Karageorge sent his mother what she considered a disturbing text message. He wrote that if he had been an embarrassment to the family he apologized, stating that his concussions had affected his behavior. Thirty minutes later, Karageorge left his apartment on East 7th Avenue in Columbus. He told his roommates he was upset over an incident involving his girlfriend and needed to take a walk.

     Karageorge did not return to his apartment that morning and failed to show up for the six AM football practice. He left his wallet in his apartment and did not possess any form of identification. He was dressed that morning in black sweatpants, black Timberland boots and a dark hoodie with the letters FOC on it. He had a short beard and had recently shaved his head.

     At five in the afternoon on the day Mr. Karageorge left his apartment and didn't return, his mother, after not hearing from her son all day, reported him missing to the Columbus Police Department. His earlier text message, and the fact he usually kept in daily touch with his family, caused her concern.

     Columbus detectives traced the missing football player's cellphone through GPS technology to West 3rd and Elmwood Avenues in the Grandview Heights section of the city. Officers, however, did not find his phone. He could have walked to that neighborhood, taken public transportation or accepted a ride with someone.

     On Friday November 28, 2014, 150 volunteers distributed hundreds of posters around the city that featured a photograph of the missing student. A group of former Ohio State football players put up a $1,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

     On Sunday November 30, 2014, five days after he went missing, a searcher found Karageorge's body in a dumpster several blocks from his apartment. The authorities identified him by his tattoos. Detectives believed that Karaageorge had used the handgun found near his body to shoot himself in the head.

     The Franklin County coroner ruled Kosta Karageorge's death a suicide.

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