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Text messages the focus of Boston College suicide case: Couple averaged more than 1,200 texts a day

Alexander Urtula in handout photo provided by the Suffolk DA's office. The Boston Globe

In the two months leading up to Alexander Urtula’s suicide, he and his girlfriend Inyoung You exchanged more than 75,000 text messages, according to District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office.

That’s an average of 1,250 texts per day.

It’s a staggering number, considering there are only 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour day.

Prosecutors said You sent most of the texts — more than 47,000 — and that her messages to Urtula included demands for him to “go kill himself” and to “go die.”

“Many of the messages display the power dynamic of the relationship, wherein Ms. You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr. Urtula both mentally and emotionally,” prosecutors said in a statement. “Her texts included repeated admonitions for Mr. Urtula to ‘go kill himself’ to ‘go die’ and that she, his family, and the world would be better off without him.”

Prosecutors allege that You subjected Urtula to “unrelenting abuse” and that she used “manipulative attempts and threats of self-harm” to exert control over Urtula and isolate him from his friends and family.


“The abuse became more frequent, more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to Mr. Urtula’s death,” prosecutors said in the statement.

The contents of some text messages are likely to become public once criminal prosecution formally gets under way. Prosecutors said additional information about the allegations will be provided during You’s arraignment, which has yet to be scheduled.

You is currently in her native South Korea, according to Rollins, and prosecutors will seek her extradition if she declines to return to the United States voluntarily.

You studied economics at Boston College and was scheduled to graduate in May of 2020, according to Jack Dunn, a spokesman for the college.

She withdrew from classes in August, he said.


RELATED: Former BC student charged with involuntary manslaughter in boyfriend’s suicide

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.