A former Boston College student was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter over her boyfriend’s suicide, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced at a Monday press conference.
Inyoung You, a 21-year-old South Korean student, was indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 18 in the death of her boyfriend, Alexander Urtula, 22, who killed himself on the day of his graduation from Boston College, said Rollins.
You’s indictment is reminiscent of the headline-grabbing case of Michelle Carter, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 over the death of her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III. Carter is serving a 15-month sentence after it was revealed that she pushed Roy to end his life over text message and repeatedly chastised him when he hesitated.
“The time is right and you are ready... just do it babe,” Carter reportedly wrote in one message.
The district attorney said Monday that You’s case is distinct in that she waged “a complete and utter attack on this man’s will and conscience and psyche,” telling him to kill himself “thousands of times” over their 18-month relationship.
On May 20, Urtula’s family was in town from New Jersey to watch him walk across the stage during his graduation from Boston College.
He never made it.
“What appeared to be a self-inflicted horrific tragedy ended up being a lot more than that” when authorities began looking through his cellphone, said Richard Sullivan, superintendent of the Transit Police Department.
The ensuing investigation revealed that You was “physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive” to Urtula and was tracking his location on her phone the morning of his death, Rollins said.
School officials said Urtula, a biology major, was a gifted student from Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
He was working as a researcher at a New York hospital after completing his coursework the previous December, said Joy Moore, the interim vice president of student affairs, when she announced Urtula’s death.
“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,” Moore said in May.
Speaking at the press conference on Monday, Rollins said that You “made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete control” over Urtula. She “in fact was present when” he killed himself, the district attorney added.
The indictment alleges that You’s behavior “was wanton and reckless” and that she “created life-threatening conditions” for Urtula.
In domestic abuse, said Rollins, “a perpetrator is not limited by the gender or the gender of their partner.”
You left for South Korea after Urtula’s death.
“There are any number of ways that we can try to extradite her back from Korea,” said the district attorney. “We are fully fluent in the ways we can get her back if she doesn’t want to do so voluntarily. We are cautiously optimistic that she will return on her own.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741