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Police chief "profoundly disturbed" by new information in death of pregnant Massachusetts woman

New report raises questions about Sandra Birchmore’s death in Canton
New report raises questions about Sandra Birchmore’s death in Canton 02:22

STOUGHTON - A report issued by an independent pathologist on the death of Sandra Birchmore has left Stoughton's police chief, "profoundly disturbed and troubled," she said in a statement.

A 2022 internal investigation by the Stoughton Police Department found that three of its officers engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with Birchmore. The officers allegedly met her when she was just 13 as part of the Stoughton Police Explorers program. All three, William Farwell, Matthew Farwell, and former Stoughton Deputy Chief Richard Devine, have left the department,   

Birchmore, 23, was found dead in her Canton apartment in 2021. She was also pregnant. At the time, her death was ruled a suicide by the Office the Chief Medical Examiner, with no foul play involved.

Pathologist says cause of death is strangulation

On Monday, a pathologist hired by Birchmore's family in a civil suit against Stoughton police, the city, and the three officers, issued a report saying Birchmore's cause of death is strangulation and the manner of her death is homicide, according to the Boston Globe.

In her statement, Chief Donna McNamara said, "While I am not a trained medical examiner, and I am not qualified to draw any direct conclusions, the findings certainly warrant further examination at the highest level."

Sandra Birchmore
Sandra Birchmore was found dead in her Canton apartment in 2021.  Facebook photo

A spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney's office also issued a statement saying, "This is an active and open investigation and multiple law enforcement agencies continue to review all information as it comes available."

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner declined to publicly comment at this time.

Natalia Alves, a family friend Sandra Birchmore, told WBZ she has been hoping for a development in the case.

"I don't think she's going to commit suicide if she wanted a baby. No way, no how," Alves said, "I've been wanting something to happen to put whoever did it in jail."

WBZ reached out to attorneys for all three accused officers. Attorneys for William Farwell and Robert Devine chose not to comment. The attorney for Matthew Farwell could not be reached.  

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