A 68-year-old Rohnert Park man who had recently been facing charges of long-term sexual abuse of the mentally and physically disabled children in his care killed himself Tuesday night by lying down across the SMART train tracks.
KPIX reports that Keith Marcum died around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday after being struck by a train on the two-year-old Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system. The incident happened south of Scenic Avenue near Rohnert Park’s northern city limit. A SMART spokesperson tells the station that the death seemed obviously intentional.
As the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports, the conductor saw Marcum from about 15 yards away, "pulled the emergency brake, sounded the train horn and flashed lights," but Marcum did not move. The trains typically travel at around 79 miles per hour.
Marcum ran an in-home care facility for mentally and physically disabled adults and children for over 30 years, and he was charged in May with long-term abuse by three different individuals who had been in his care. Prosecutors filed 14 counts against him, including counts of sodomy, forced lewd acts on a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child and possessing child pornography, per the Press-Democrat. He had been released from jail after posting $765,000 bail.
Marcum's was the third death on the SMART tracks in just two weeks, with the previous two having been deemed accidental. In total, seven people have died after being struck by SMART trains since the system began operating in 2017.
If you are in crisis, text "BAY" to 741741 for free, 24/7, confidential crisis support from Crisis Text Line. And if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you or they should call the San Francisco Suicide Prevention crisis line at 415-781-0500.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.