A former Boston College student has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the suicide of her college boyfriend on his graduation day, prosecutors announced on Monday.
The South Korean woman who police say sent her boyfriend more than 780 “manipulative and threatening” text messages a day in the months leading up to his suicide has been charged with manslaughter, according to the Suffolk DA.
DA Rachael Rollins said this morning Inyoung You, 21, of South Korea, was being charged with involuntary manslaughter for her role in the death of Alexander Urtula, 22, who leapt to his death from the top of the Renaissance parking garage on May 20 less than two hours before he was supposed to walk in his graduation ceremony from Boston College.
“You’s behavior was wanton and reckless and resulted in overwhelming Mr. Urtula’s will to live,” Rollins said in a press conference on Monday.
According to Rollins, police determined You was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive,” toward Urtula after an investigation of his phone following his death. She said their investigation found the couple exchanged more than 75,000 text messages — 47,000 from You — in the two months leading up to the suicide where You allegedly told her boyfriend to “go die” and to “kill yourself” thousands of times, Rollins said.
“Many of the messages clearly display the power dynamic in the relationship wherein Ms. You made demands and threatens with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr. Urtula both mentally and emotionally,” Rollins said.
You used threats of self-harm to control Urtula and the investigation revealed her manipulation escalated prior to Urtula’s suicide, Rollin said.
“It also found that she was aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse yet she persisted, continuing to encourage him to take his own life,” Rollins said.
You would frequently track Urtula’s location using her cell phone and stalked him to the parking garage on the morning of his death, Rollins said. She was there when Urtula leapt from the top of the parking structure.
You, who was also a Boston College student, withdrew from school following Urtula’s suicide, according to the DA.
Urutula’s family was in town from New Jersey on the day of his death to watch Urtula graduate from college.
“His family never got do so,” Rollins said.
You returned to South Korea following Urtula’s death and authorities said they are “cautiously optimistic” that she will willingly return to the US to face charges. Rollins said her office is also prepared to pursue extradition.
No arraignment date has been scheduled.
The charges recall the conviction of Plainville teen Michelle Carter for writing texts encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life.
Carter’s conviction has been upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rollins said Urtula’s death is a tragic reminder of the prevalence of domestic violence in society and the toll it can take. Everyday domestic violence hotlines across the nation record more than 20,000 phone calls. Domestic violence affects “does not discriminate,” Rollins said, noting it affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race religion or nationality.
“Domestic violence may not always look the same, but it is always about power and control,” she said.