Julie Woodward (December 24, 1985 - July 22, 2003) was a beautiful, intelligent, popular, studious, disciplined, ambitious, and caring girl.
She attended North Penn High School in North Wales, Pennsylvania. And Julie Woodward had been a happy girl until her junior year in high school, when she began exhibiting some difficulties. She experienced a break up with a boyfriend, began staying out late with her friends, and did not study as much as she used to. She also became depressed, was irritable most of the time, and her grades dropped significantly.
And a diagnostic test that she took at school confirmed what many believed, that Julie was indeed suffering from depression; so she entered a group therapy program at a local clinic. Two doctors at the clinic convinced her parents, Tom and Kathy, to put her on Zoloft, which is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
Julie's behavior actually got worse after only a few days on the medication. And on the third day, Julie was arguing with her mother when she lost control and pushed her to the floor -- Everyone in the family was shocked because Julie had never pushed her mother before. "It was an out-of-character act," Tom Woodward said.
And over the next few days, Julie became extremely irritable and she could not sit still. Julie was usually very calm, but she kept pacing incessantly. She also became reclusive.
On July 22, 2003, after starting her treatment with Zoloft, Julie called her father, who was on his way home from a business meeting, and told him she did not want to attend the swim meet that her mother and some other family members were already attending. She told her father not to come home, but to go directly to the swim meet. She then told her father that she loved him. When Tom and Kathy returned home later that evening, they thought that Julie was in her bedroom, so they did not go up to her room until they were ready for bed, at about 11 p.m. And when they did go to her room to say goodnight, Julie was not there.
They thought that she decided to stay out late, so they went to bed.
The next morning, when she still did not return home, they began calling friends and family, but could not locate her.
Tom began searching the neighborhood, but was unable to locate her.
Tom then went to their detached garage -- and it was there that he found her.
Julie had hanged herself.