A “CSI” copycat suicide in New Mexico

State police say they have solved a mysterious eastern New Mexico shooting death that was similar to a shooting depicted in a 2003 “CSI” episode. In both cases a revolver was found tied to balloons in an apparent effort to make the weapon float away.

Authorities determined that Thomas Hickman committed suicide after an investigation that included a detective renting a copy of the episode…

At first, investigators suspected homicide when Hickman, 55, of North Richland Hills, Texas, was found dead March 15 along U.S. 84 southeast of Santa Rosa, his mouth covered by duct tape…

“There were similarities in the episode, where a character did tie helium balloons to a gun and hoped it would float away,” Anglada said.

Medical investigators ruled the death a suicide, Anglada said, and additional evidence led detectives to conclude the scene had been intended to look like a homicide.

They also found he held a life insurance policy that would pay his wife $388,000 or double that amount if his death was accidental.

Of course, trying to commit suicide and make it look like a murder – you don’t get many chances to practice.