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Woman Charged in College Boyfriend's Suicide

Alexander Urtula jumped to his death the morning of his Boston College graduation
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2019 2:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Alexander Urtula was due to graduate from Boston College at 10am on May 20. But by 8:30 that morning, he was dead by suicide. Now, his girlfriend has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with his death. The New York Times reports the 22-year-old biology major jumped from the top of a parking garage in Roxbury, Mass., on what was to be his graduation day. Prosecutors allege Inyoung You, his 21-year-old girlfriend, had for 18 months been physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive. The details:

  • Prosecutors say there are witnesses to the abuse from the college and Urtula's family, that the abuse was documented in Urtula's journal, and that in the two months before his death You sent him 47,000 text messages in which she suggested he should kill himself or die thousands of times, per the Boston Herald. She also allegedly wrote that the "world would be better without him."

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  • DA Rachael Rollins on Monday said You often used her cell phone to track Urtula's location, had followed him to the parking garage, and was present when he died, reports the Herald.
  • The AP reports You, an economics major due to graduate in May 2020, withdrew from Boston College in August and returned to her native South Korea. Officials are "cautiously optimistic" she will return to face charges of her own accord, but Rollins said her office would otherwise try to extradite her.
  • "Domestic violence may not look the same [in every instance] but it is always about power and control," Rollins said, adding that this case was no exception, reports the Boston Globe.
  • A statement from her office said the investigation, which relied heavily on the MBTA Transit Police, found "Ms. You used manipulative attempts and threats of self-harm to control Mr. Urtula and isolate him from friends and family. It also found that Ms. You was aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse. Even still, she continued to encourage Mr. Urtula to take his own life."
  • CBS Boston reports that Rollins added Urtula's relatives had come in from New Jersey to see him graduate. "His family never got to do so."
  • The case is being compared to another one out of Massachusetts: that of Michelle Carter, who was sentenced to 15 months after being found guilty of the same charge in connection with boyfriend Conrad Roy's 2014 suicide. Rollins allowed that there were similarities between the cases but major differences as well, such as the fact that You had extensive physical contact with Urtula; the same wasn't true for Carter and Roy.
(Read more suicide stories.)

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