Memphis photographer dies after falling from Chicago hotel

Chicago, IL (WMC) - A Memphis photographer who fell from a Chicago rooftop and died is being remembered by a close friend and the Memphis photography community. Meanwhile, the circumstances surrounding his death continue to come out.

In an eerily cryptic Instagram post Monday, 44-year-old Memphian, photographer, newspaper executive, and father of three, Eric Janssen, wrote, "Birth, school, work, death… Chicago has been an amazing experience… made new friends… reconnected with old friends… had a really wonderful time."

The trip with fellow photographers would turn tragic.

A source confirmed to NBC5 in Chicago that Janssen was taking photos on the rooftop of the LondonHouse Chicago hotel on the 20th floor, where he climbed over a barrier of an unprotected area to take pictures. He eventually fell to his death Monday afternoon. The death was ruled an accident.

Janssen's 12-year-old daughter, Robin, said she struggled to believe her father was really gone.

"I wanted to believe that he was still alive, and that he wasn't dead, but he was dead. And it was hard for me to believe that because he--I didn't see him a lot, so I just didn't really want to believe it," Robin said. "I had a special connection with my dad, and I miss him. And a lot of people had special connections to him. Everyone thought that he was the greatest guy in the world to them and everyone who he came in contact with, he made them happy."

"I just couldn't believe it," said Janssen's friend, Karen Golightly. "I was just totally in disbelief because he has a lot of experience shooting in all sorts of situations."

Golightly said Janssen didn't meet a stranger and was well known in the city's photography community. His talent is full display on his Instagram page, where he posted stunning and unique images for all to see.

Golightly and Janssen even started a handle themselves, @graffitiMemphis, to document the city's uniqueness in artistic expression.

"Eric was a great photographer. He'd really worked on the last two and a half years developing his photography," she said.

Golightly said Eric was set to display his work October 27 at a show on South Main in Downtown Memphis. The art show will be held at CrossFit Hit & Run, which is located at 574 S. Main, from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. She is now working to get more of his high resolution images collected as a way to remember his creative contributions.

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