Boston mother and children deaths ‘likely murder-suicide’

‘Evidence suggests’ mother jumped after causing four-year-old and 16-month-old to fall

The parking garage, which appeared to be about nine levels high, is adjacent to a transit station near the Northeastern University campus. Photograph: CBSN Boston via YouTube

The parking garage, which appeared to be about nine levels high, is adjacent to a transit station near the Northeastern University campus. Photograph: CBSN Boston via YouTube

 

The deaths of a 40-year-old woman and her two young children who fell from a Boston high-rise parking structure on Christmas Day were apparently a murder-suicide, the local district attorney said on Thursday.

“The evidence suggests” that the mother, Erin Pascal, jumped to her death after causing her four-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son to fall to their deaths, said Suffolk County district attorney Rachael Rollins. The deaths of the two children “were likely” murder, she said.

Pascal, her daughter, Allison, and son Andrew, were all of Boston’s West Roxbury neighbourhood.

“Today is an extremely sad day as we begin to put together the pieces of a tragedy that took place yesterday, on Christmas,” said Ms Rollins in Boston.

The deaths, she said, “highlight the invisible struggles” with depression or other mental ailments that many people suffer with. “Most importantly, I want to extend my sincere condolences to this family,” she said.

She said the two children fell first, followed by Pascal.

The investigation is ongoing. There have been no suicide notes found and no known complaints about the mother, said Ms Rollins.

The prosecutor described the scene as “awful” and especially heartrending because it happened on Christmas.

“There were children’s shoes and an adult shoe. Just belongings from the children and the mother strewn upon the street. The impact of the fall was visible from the street,” said Ms Rollins.

Aerial news video of the scene showed police investigators huddled on the rooftop around a black sport utility vehicle with three of its doors open beside the wall around the top level of the structure. The area around the SUV was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape.

The victims’ vehicle was found at the parking structure, with one child seat facing forward and the other backward, said Ms Rollins.

The parking garage, which appeared to be about nine levels high, is adjacent to a transit station near the Northeastern University campus. – Reuters