A former Boston College student has been indicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge after she allegedly urged her boyfriend to kill himself just hours before he was set to graduate.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced the disturbing indictment in a press conference. Here’s what we know:
Alexander Urtula, 22, was a biology major at Boston College who completed his course work in December. He worked as a researcher in New York and was set to walk the stage at the university’s commencement on May 20 before his death.
A Cedar Grove, New Jersey native, Urtula was described as a “gifted student at Boston College, who was involved in many activities, including the Philippine Society of Boston College,” according to the university.
Inyoung You, 21, of South Korea, was an economics major at Boston College before withdrawing from classes in August. She was in a relationship with Urtula for 18 months before his death, which happened just 90 minutes before he was set to graduate.
Rollins said You was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive toward Mr. Urtula” throughout their relationship.
The Power Dynamic
According to Rollins, an investigation into the death of Urtula determined that You became increasingly abusive toward her boyfriend in the days leading up to his death. The defendant “created life-threatening conditions for him that she had a legal duty to alleviate,” the Suffolk County District Attorney said.
Rollins said the abuse was witnessed by family and classmates of both parties and was also documented in the victim’s journal entries.
Text messages between the couple also documented the imbalance in the couple’s power dynamic, with You understanding she had “complete and total control over Mr. Urtula, both mentally and emotionally,” Rollins said. The defendant used threats of self-harm and manipulation to control the victim.
In the 75,000 text messages between the couple in the months before his death — more than 47,000 of those from You — the defendant repeatedly told Urtula to “go die” or to “go kill himself,” Rollins said. The texts said that she, his family and the world would be better off without him.
"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.
In addition to the demeaning words, You allegedly isolated Urtula from his loved ones and frequently tracked his location on her phone.
On the morning of what would have been Urtula’s graduation, You tracked her boyfriend’s location to the Renaissance parking garage in Roxbury. She was present when the 22-year-old leapt to his death from the structure around 8:35 a.m.
His family had traveled from New Jersey to watch Urtula graduate, but were instead greeted with a tragedy.
You is currently in South Korea, but officials said they are “cautiously optimistic” that she will voluntarily return to Boston to face the involuntary manslaughter charge. If she does not, authorities will pursue other avenues to have her extradited back.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.