Student Killed Himself After Suffering Months Of Abuse From Girlfriend
A 22-year-old student killed himself on the day of his graduation after reportedly suffering months of manipulation and abuse from his girlfriend.
Alexander Urtula, a biology major at Boston College, jumped to his death from the top floor of a parking garage on May 20 – something his girlfriend, Inyoung You, witnessed.
Authorities say You tracked her boyfriend to the parking garage in Boston’s Roxbury neighbourhood after months of physical, verbal and psychological abuse towards Urtula.
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The Suffolk County district attorney charged You, 21, with involuntary manslaughter in Urtula’s suicide on Monday, October 28, The Washington Post reports.
Rachael Rollins, the district attorney, said You had ‘complete and total control’ over Urtula during their 18-month relationship, and used text messages and threats of self harm to manipulate him into doing what she wanted.
Rollins said at a news conference:
Many of the messages clearly display the power dynamic in the relationship wherein Ms You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr Urtula, both mentally and emotionally.
In the text messages, Rollins said You encouraged Urtula to kill himself hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times. The district attorney said the 21-year-old told her boyfriend to ‘go die,’ saying she, his family and the world would be better off without him.
The abuse became ‘more frequent, more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to’ Urtula’s death, according to Rollins. So much so, in the two months prior to his suicide, the couple exchanged more than 75,000 texts – with at least 47,000 coming from You.
The abuse was also documented in the young woman’s journal, as well as by the couple’s classmates and family members, who said they witnessed the abuse.
You, who studied economics at the same college as Urtula, withdrew from classes in August – despite being due to graduate in May 2020. Rollins said she is now in South Korea, where she’s from, with authorities remaining hopeful she will return voluntarily.
If she doesn’t, the district attorney said authorities will ‘utilise the power we have to get her back’ to the United States – including by extradition.
One option could be an Interpol ‘red notice,’ which would alert South Korea (as well as the international policing organisation’s 193 other member nations) to the US warrant for You’s arrest, and request that she be detained and extradited.
The case closely mirrors that of Michelle Carter, who was convicted of the same crime in 2017 after encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide.
The district attorney said, while some of this case’s basic facts were similar to the Carter case, there is one major difference: Carter and Conrad Roy had limited physical contact, whereas You and Urtula had ‘the opposite of that.’
We have a barrage, a complete and utter attack on this man’s very will and conscience and psyche by an individual to the tune of 47,000 messages.
Our thoughts are with Alexander’s family at this difficult time.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
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