Qualcomm Suicide Victim Was in Midst of Divorce, Says Autopsy Report

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Buildings AY and AZ at Qualcomm’s corporate complex in San Diego. Photo via hope-amundson.com

By Ken Stone

Days after David Wu leaped to his death from a building at Qualcomm’s corporate headquarters one Sunday night in June, online speculation centered on possible layoff fears.

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But an autopsy report on the 51-year-old Wu — listed as Heng Wu — suggests another possible factor.

“He was in the process of divorce,” said the report by Dr. Steven Campman, chief deputy medical examiner for San Diego County.

Wu never spoke of suicide, said the report, but he “reportedly … was experiencing pressure because of uncertain employment situation.”

Five weeks before standing on a small table at the edge of a balcony near Building AY and taking a 78-foot fall, Wu learned he was being sued for divorce.

Court records show that his wife filed for dissolution of their 24-year marriage in San Diego Superior Court on May 9, citing “irreconcilable differences.” However, after Wu’s death, his wife asked the court to dismiss the divorce process.

Although Qualcomm signaled in April that it planned about 1,200 layoffs in San Diego, there is no record that Heng Wu was targeted. In any case, he was not a Qualcomm employee at the time of his death. He worked for a contractor, the company has said.

Wu — identified as Wu Dawei in a widely followed Hong Kong media report — left no suicide notes, Campman said. He had no drugs or alcohol in his system, and died in the courtyard below of multiple blunt force injuries.

Qualcomm declined to comment on the autopsy. Instead, the wireless pioneer cited its earlier statement about a “sad week for us at Qualcomm,” where the company was “focused on providing support to our employees during this difficult time.”

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