A former Boston College student was so “physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive” toward her boyfriend, she ultimately pushed him to kill himself, Massachusetts officials say. Now, per CNN, the woman is facing charges.
On Monday, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced at a press conference that Inyoung You, a 21-year-old from South Korea, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the May suicide of 22-year-old Alexander Urtula. According to prosecutors, You and Urtula dated for 18 months, during which time You “made demands and threats,” exercising “total control” over him. On May 20, just an hour and a half before Urtula was to graduate from Boston College, he jumped to his death from a parking garage.
Rollins says that You’s alleged abuse ultimately “[overwhelmed] Mr. Urtula’s will to live” — and that You only became “more powerful and more demeaning” leading up to Urtula’s eventual suicide. Per prosecutors, in the two months prior to Urtula’s death, You sent him 47,000 text messages, repeatedly telling Urtula to “go kill himself” and that “the world would be better off without him.” And prosecutors allege that You was aware of her influence over Urtula: They say that she knew about his “spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts,” but that she paid them no attention.
Furthermore, You was allegedly at the parking garage with Urtula at the time of his death on May 20. According to People, You told law enforcement officials that she was there to stop him from committing suicide.
Following Urtula’s death, Joy Moore, the interim vice president for student affairs, sent a letter to students informing them of the tragedy, calling Urtula a “gifted student who was involved in many activities.” Per the letter, Urtula was studying biology and had been working as a researcher in a New York hospital; he also was involved in the school’s Philippine Society.
“While today is a day for celebration, we ask you to take a moment to remember Alexander, his family, and friends in your prayers during this most difficult time,” the letter reads.
In recent days, this case has drawn comparisons to the one involving Michelle Carter, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 for sending her depressed boyfriend hundreds of text messages encouraging him to commit suicide. In fact, Rollins addressed the resemblance in the Monday press conference, though she noted that the evidence against You is much more damning.
“I think the facts will show in Carter there was very limited physical contact prior and some very egregious language in the instance or moments leading up to the death,” she said. “We have quite frankly, I would say the opposite of that. We have a barrage of a complete and utter attack on this man’s very will and conscience and psyche by an individual to the tune of 47,000 text messages in the two months leading up.”
According to the district attorney’s office, You is currently in South Korea, from where she’s expected to return voluntarily before her arraignment. (An arraignment date has not yet been set.) If You resists in any way, though, Rollins has signaled that her office is prepared to extradite her if necessary, per the Boston Herald.
This post has been updated.