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Woman, two infants found dead at Boston parking garage now believed to be murder-suicide


Douglas Hook
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

Christmas Day marked a horrible tragedy that claimed the lives of two children under the age of 5 and their mother, who is suspected in their deaths.

As investigators in Boston begin to put the pieces of their deaths together, a family is left grieving.

Here is what we know about the apparent double-murder suicide so far.

‘The unspeakable happened’

A 911 call was placed from near the Renaissance Parking Garage in Boston between 1:25 and 1:35 p.m. on Christmas Day reporting an incident having occurred at the garage.

“Yesterday, the unspeakable happened and now we are all struggling to make sense of the circumstances surrounding these deaths,” Rollins said Thursday during a press conference.

First responders rushed to the location on Columbus Avenue and found the bodies of a woman and two small children lying on the sidewalk.

“It was awful. There were children’s shoes and the mother’s shoe. There were belongings from the children and the mother strewn upon the street,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said describing the scene in an interview with WBUR radio’s “Morning Edition” host Bob Oakes. The impact of the fall was visible from the street, Rollins said.

Family identified

The three were identified Thursday by Rollins as a mother and her two children: Erin Pascal, 4-year-old Allison and 15-month-old Andrew Pascal.

Pascal is a 40-year-old resident of West Roxbury, where she is believed to have resided with her husband and children, Rollins said.

She worked for Sanofi Genzyme for over 15 years, taking a year away in 2013 where she worked at another company. In October, she was promoted to director of corporate social responsibility and community relations for Sanofi Genzyme, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Sanofi Genzyme is a biotechnology company that focuses on rare diseases, rare blood disorders, multiple sclerosis, oncology, and immunology.

A 2001 graduate of Brown University, she worked for two years following her undergraduate studies as a reporter at The Providence Journal.

The names of Pascal and her children were publicly withheld for a day to allow the family to be contacted.

Need for mental health supports

Rollins said Thursday her office has opened an investigation into their deaths. She said the evidence collected so far suggests a double murder-suicide.

According to WCVB, Pascal’s husband called the police after there was an argument and said that she may be suicidal before the incident occurred.

Detectives were seen looking through a black SUV that was parked on the roof across two spaces near a wall that runs along the edge of the garage where she is suspected to have parked before she allegedly threw her children from the roof and later herself.

She did not share a suggested motive for their deaths but highlighted a need for further mental health supports.

“For a parent to come to the place in which they harm their children in this way, indicates that their mental health struggles were severe and in need of immediate supports,” Rollins told reporters. “This Christmas Day tragedy demonstrates the urgency of addressing mental health, suicide and homicide. We have to do more to address these significant public health issues that impact all of us in Suffolk County.”

The third incident this year

“Yesterday’s deaths sadly occurred at the same location as two other separate suicides this year,” said Rollins. “The first occurred on May 20, the second occurred on Dec. 9.”

Alexander Urtula, was the first suicide of 2019 that took place at the garage after his girlfriend, Inyoung You, sent roughly 47,000 texts with some of the messages saying “go die” and that his loved ones would be better off without him.

“Earlier this fall, Northeastern University put additional security staffing in place to patrol three multi-level parking facilities on its Boston campus, including the Renaissance Park garage.” Northeastern University spokesperson said in a statement to MassLive.

The university, in response to the incident on Christmas Day, “has indefinitely blocked both pedestrian and vehicular access to the top two floors of the Renaissance Park garage.”

Whether as a result of these suicides the university will employ preventatives in addition to the 24-hour staffing to prevent such incidents happening in the future has yet to be confirmed.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings, help is available.

Any parent struggling with the emotional hardships of raising a family is encouraged to call the Parent Stress Line at 1-800-632-8188.

Help is also available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 800-273-TALK (8255); military veterans and their loved ones should press “1” for the Veterans Crisis Line.

The Trevor Lifeline is available to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and young adults at 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386).

Samaritans Statewide Hotline 877-870-HOPE (4673).



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