Former Boston College student who allegedly encouraged boyfriend to kill himself is charged in his suicide


A former Boston College student has been indicted in the suicide of her boyfriend, a fellow student who took his own life on the day he was set to walk in his commencement ceremony, prosecutors announced Monday.

Inyoung You, a 21-year-old South Korean native, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, who jumped to his death from the Renaissance parking garage in Roxbury, Mass., around 8:30 a.m. on May 20, 2019, Suffolk County District Attorney's Office Rachael Rollins said during a press conference.

You tracked her then-boyfriend through his cellphone that day, "as she frequently did," and "was present" at the scene when he plunged to his death, Rollins added.

Prosecutors allege Urtula, a biology major from Cedar Grove, N.J., struggled with mental health issues throughout the pair's 18-month relationship and that You had continuously been so "physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive" to the victim that she helped cause his suicide.

"The indictment alleges Ms. You's behavior was wanton and reckless and resulted in overwhelming Mr. Urtula's will to live," Rollins told reporters. "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."

According to the DA's office, You and Urtula exchanged over 75,000 messages in the two months leading up to Urtula's suicide, with over 47,000 of the texts coming from the suspect. In those messages, Rollins said there were "hundreds" of instances "where (You) instructed him" to take his own life, as well as claims that she, his family and the world would be better off without him.

Rollins also expressed sympathy for Urtula's family members, who had traveled to Boston to watch him receive his diploma and instead, ended up losing their loved one.

“Students come to Boston from around the world to attend our renowned colleges and universities. They are eager to learn and experience our vibrant city," Rollins said. "Their families and loved ones do not expect them to face unending physical and mental abuse."

You, who is currently living in South Korea, has been asked to return to Massachusetts willingly so that she may be arraigned, the Boston Globe reports. The DA's office says it is working with her counsel to coordinate.

The case has drawn comparisons to a highly publicized Massachusetts case in which another young woman, Michelle Carter, encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to kill himself in July 2014.

Carter, who was 17 when she coerced then 18-year-old Roy to die by carbon monoxide poisoning, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 and ordered to serve 15 months of a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence, the rest of which would be suspended. She began serving her time in February of 2019.

The case sparked a popular HBO documentary, "I Love You, Now Die," as well as a bill, called Conrad's Law, which would criminalize suicide coercion in Massachusetts with jail time up to five years, reports.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Click here to learn about the warning signs of suicide.