Officials in Massachusetts are investigating the Christmas Day deaths of a mother and her two young children found atas a likely double murder and suicide. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins identified the mother as 40-year-old Erin Pascal and her two children as 1-year-old Andrew and 4-year-old Allison.
"The evidence collected thus far suggests these deaths...were very likely a double murder-suicide," Rollins said Thursday at a press conference.
Police responded just before 1:30 p.m. to the Renaissance Park Garage in Roxbury, where they found the three family members unconscious on a sidewalk. They were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Rollins said it appears the two children fell before Pascal, according to CBS Boston, implying Pascal may have pushed the two children from the garage before leaping off herself.
The family lived in West Roxbury with the children's father, Rollins said.
"I want to extend my sincere condolences to this family," Rollins said. "Yesterday the unspeakable happened and now we are all struggling to make sense of the circumstances surrounding these deaths."
Sources tell CBS Boston Pascal was involved in a domestic dispute with the children's father shortly before her death. The station reports the mother took the children from the home, and the father called 911 to report she was suicidal. Rollins said investigators are not currently aware of any reports of kidnapping related to the children, but also noted the investigation is still in its "very early stages."
Video showed police looking at an SUV, with several doors wide open, parked on the top level of the parking garage, CBS Boston reports. Police said there were two child car seats in the vehicle.
Rollins said her office would comb through any available video, as well as cell phone data, to piece together what happened. Rollins stressed that there are resources available for anyone who may be struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide.
"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 in need of immediate support," Rollins said.
She said the Christmas Day tragedy "demonstrates the urgency of addressing mental health, suicide and homicide."
Rollins confirmed this is the same parking garage where two other people, including Boston College student Alexander Urtula, jumped to their deaths in 2019. Rollins' office has charged Urtula's girlfriend, Inyoung You, with involuntary manslaughter for allegedlyin a case that has garnered national attention.
If you or a loved one is in crisis, there are resources available to help:
- Call 911 in an emergency if you need help right away.
- The toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.
- Text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line, which provides 24/7 support with a trained crisis counselor.