A former Boston College student has been charged with involuntary manslaughter over her boyfriend's suicide in May, Massachusetts officials announced Monday, in a case that has parallels to the Michelle Carter trial.
Inyoung You, a 21-year-old from South Korea, was so "physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive" toward Alexander Urtula during their 18-month relationship that she caused the 22-year-old to kill himself, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters at a press conference.
"[The investigation] also determined that abuse became more frequent and more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to Mr. Urtula's untimely death," Rollins said.
Urtula, himself a student at Boston College, died just 90 minutes before his graduation ceremony on May 20. His family had traveled from New Jersey to attend the event.
"Students come to Boston from around the world to attend our renowned colleges and universities, eager to learn and experience our vibrant city," said Rollins. "Their families and loved ones certainly do not expect them to experience unending physical and mental abuse."
The alleged abuse was said to have been witnessed by both students' friends and classmates in addition to being documented in Urtula's journal.
According to prosecutors, You sent Urtula 47,000 text messages in the two months prior to his death, which included "repeated admonitions for Mr. Urtula to 'go kill himself,' to 'go die,' and that she, his family, and the world would be better off without him."
Prosecutors said You was aware of his "spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts," but continued to urge him to kill himself.
On the morning of his death, You was said to have been tracking Urtula's location via her phone and was present at the parking garage in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood when he died there.
Rollins said You had been "wanton and reckless, and resulted in overwhelming Mr. Urtula's will to live."
A spokesperson for the district attorney's office told BuzzFeed News that You had not yet retained legal counsel. She is expected to be arraigned at a later date.
According to a letter to Boston College students informing them of Urtula's death, he was a biology major who had been working as a researcher in a New York hospital.
"Alexander was a gifted student who was involved in many activities while at BC, including the Philippine Society of Boston College," wrote Joy Moore, the interim vice president for student affairs.
The case has parallels to another Massachusetts suicide for which a young woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
In February, 22-year-old Michelle Carter began serving 15 months in prison over the 2014 suicide of her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy.
Evidence showed that Carter, who was 17 at the time, sent Roy, who had a history of mental illness, a series of text messages encouraging him to kill himself.
She also spoke with him by phone him moments before he took his own life, telling him to "get back in" his truck in which he was inhaling carbon monoxide.
Carter was denied parole during a hearing last month.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.