A former Boston College student has been charged in her boyfriend’s suicide after prosecutors allege that she encouraged him to kill himself via text message.
Inyoung You, 21, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the May death of her boyfriend, 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced on Monday in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
You was indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 18, nearly five months after Urtula jumped off the roof of parking garage, two hours before he was supposed to graduate from Boston College. Evidence found on his phone led investigators to believe that You played a role in his death.
“Suffolk County prosecutors, and the MBTA transit police detectives determined that Ms. You, was physically, verbally and psychologically abusive toward Mr. Urtula during their 18-month-long relationship,” Rollins said in the statement.
Two months before his death, the couple had exchanged 75,000 texts with more than half being from You. On the day of Urtula’s death, You had tracked his phone and was on the parking garage roof with him when he jumped, according to the statement.
You had “complete and total control” over her boyfriend, Rollins said. Revealing that in her messages, You would allegedly tell Urtula to “go kill himself, to “go die” and that “she, his family, and the world would be better off without him.”
“The investigation revealed that Ms. You used manipulative attempts and threats of self-harm to control him,” Rollins said in her statement. “It also found that she was aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse, yet she persisted, continuing to encourage him to take his own life.”
Rollins said that the friends and classmates of both You and Urtula witnessed the “unrelenting abuse.”
Urtula had depressive and suicidal thoughts. Rollins accused You of taking advantage of his mental state, creating “life-threatening conditions for Mr. Urtula.”
The case echoes that of teenager Michelle Carter, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months in jail for her role in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III in July 2014.
Roy was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, in the parking lot of a Fairhaven, Massachusetts, Kmart.
Text messages and calls between the couple showed that Carter, then 17, encouraged Roy’s plan to kill himself — even when he was wavering. For example, in the days before his death, she texted him, “You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you [will] be free and happy. No more pushing it, no more waiting.”
Since Urtula’s death, You has returned to her home country of South Korea. Rollins said she believes You will willingly return to the United States, however warned, “if she does not, we will utilize the power we have to get her back,” NBC News reports.
We absolutely believe people should be held accountable for words they say digitally — especially the youth.