BOSTON — The District Attorney in Boston says the three deaths of a woman and two young children at a parking garage on Christmas Day were apparently the results of a double murder-suicide.
40 year-old Erin Pascal, her daughter, 4-year-old Allison, and her son, 1-year-old Andrew were all pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe the mother threw the children to their deaths before jumping herself.
“I want to extend my sincere condolences to this family,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said. “Yesterday, the unspeakable happened.”
“For a parent to come to a place in which they harm their children in this way indicates their mental health struggles were severe and need of immediate supports,” Rollins said.
Two other suicides have occurred at the location in the past 7 months.
District Attorney Rachael Rollins Statement on Christmas Day Tragedy:
Today is an extremely sad day as we begin to put together the pieces of a tragedy that took place yesterday, on Christmas, at the Renaissance parking garage. This horrible situation highlights the invisible struggles many members of our community confront and the devastation that can result. Most importantly, I want to extend my sincere condolences to this family. Yesterday, the unspeakable happened and now we are all struggling to make sense of the circumstances surrounding these deaths.
I have assigned one of the most experienced prosecutors in my office to lead the investigations into these deaths, as well as a Victim Witness Advocate to provide all of the supports and services that this family may need, now or at any point in the future. I hope and trust that members of the media recognize the unspeakable grief that this family is experiencing, and that you will respect their privacy.
Though we remain in the very early stages of our investigation, the evidence collected thus far suggests that these deaths, which occurred between approximately 1:25 and 1:35 pm yesterday, were likely a double murder-suicide. The individuals have been identified as 40-year-old Erin Pascal of West Roxbury, and her two children, Allison (4-years-old) and Andrew (16-months-old).
As many of you are now aware, yesterday’s deaths sadly occurred at the same location as two other separate suicides this year. The first occurred on May, 20th, the second occurred on December 9th. And yesterday, December 25th, marked the third separate tragedy, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th deaths at this Northeastern University Garage in the last seven months.
It is my duty to say this – if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, there are services available to help you. Please utilize this help. You can call or text the Samaritans Statewide Hotline 877-870-HOPE (4673). 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). If you believe that you or another individual is at immediate risk of harm, you can always call 911. Additional resources can be found through the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Suicide.
No matter the season, being a parent can be incredibly stressful. There’s help available to any parent struggling with the emotional hardships of raising a family through the Parent Stress Line at 1-800-632-8188.
In closing, I want to say that every death in our community, whether homicide or suicide, has significant impacts. It can leave people in despair, traumatized, and feeling hopeless. 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. Mental health issues are not specific to one type of individual. It has many faces. 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. My office is committed fully to working with our partners to do so.
Lastly, I want to thank the first responders – Northeastern Police, Transit Police, Boston Police, EMS and my staff at the Suffolk County DA’s Office, all of whom where there in real time as this tragedy unfolded. The Mayor, Commissioner Gross, Chief Hooley, Chief Green, Superintendent Sullivan, the Northeastern Police and I are all deeply committed to getting our first responders the peer support and mental health treatment they deserve as they perform their jobs every day.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800-273-TALK (8255)