ORLANDO, Fla. — Sylvia Henry will never forget February 2 and how the start of her day began.
- TSA worker Robert Henry took own life at Orlando airport in February
- Mother Sylvia is speaking out for first time about son, TSA investigation
- She says TSA investigation found "they had done nothing wrong"
That morning, one of her sons ran in to her bedroom to inform her and her husband that her other son, Robert, had emailed a suicide note to close friends and family.
"Out of the cold blue, this came, and it’s like, 'What?' " Henry said. "We immediately rushed to our phones and read his email."
Robert Henry's email, obtained by Spectrum News 13 during a two-month Watchdog investigation, went into detail about how he felt he was being treated poorly at work and did not want to be a burden to his parents or society.
Robert worked at Orlando International Airport as a TSA employee. That day, he took his own life, jumping off a hotel balcony inside an atrium at Orlando International Airport. Hundreds of shocked travelers were delayed as agents worked to rescreen them.
His death shined a light on what several of Robert's coworkers and a close friend told us in the ensuing months: There was a culture of bullying and retaliation among the TSA staff at the airport.
Now, for the first time, Robert's mother, Sylvia, is speaking out.
She could hardly hold back tears as she described her son as smart, funny, and someone with a unique sense of humor.
"It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through," Sylvia Henry said.
She says she never knew her son was in such a dark place.
"I had no idea that he even knew the concept or idea of suicide or possibility of him taking his own life," Sylvia Henry said. "This was just nothing that was ever in the realm of conversations we had with him."
Since Robert took his life, the TSA has conducted its own investigation. The agency has not released its findings, but Sylvia said she’s seen it.
"They were totally focusing on the faults of Robert," Sylvia said. "They were clearly stating they had done nothing wrong… They did nothing wrong."
Spectrum News 13 has been in contact with TSA for more than a week now for more information or comment about its investigation into Robert Henry’s suicide, but it has not sent us anything to this point.
As for Sylvia Henry and her family, they continue to struggle with their loss. She says she can’t delete Robert’s voicemails from her phone, because she doesn't want to lose the chance to hear her son’s voice one more time.