After Alexander Urtula jumped to his death from a Roxbury parking garage in May, his girlfriend, Inyoung You, told authorities she had rushed there to try and stop him, two law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
But prosecutors have described You as an abusive partner who exerted full control over Urtula, which was documented in thousands of text exchanges that revealed a toxic and tumultuous 18-month relationship.
You, a 21-year-old native of South Korea who grew up in Washington state, has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in Urtula’s death. Prosecutors said You took advantage of Urtula’s depression to isolate him from friends and family and hounded him into taking his own life, repeatedly saying the world would be a better place without him.
On Tuesday, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said “a more complete summary of the facts leading up to and following Mr. Urtula’s death will be revealed at the arraignment and during the course of the impending litigation.”
“I stand firmly behind this office’s detailed presentation of the evidence to the Suffolk County grand jury and the returned indictment against Ms. You,” she said in a statement.
You, who withdrew from Boston College in August, is living in South Korea, which could pose an obstacle for prosecutors who have asked her to return to the United States to be arraigned.
Rollins’s office has not released the name of a lawyer who has been in touch with prosecutors about the case.
Messages left for You’s relatives were not returned. Urtula’s family did not answer the door at their home in Cedar Grove, N.J.
Urtula killed himself on the morning of May 20, when he was slated to graduate from BC. Urtula’s parents, immigrants from the Philippines, were on campus that morning when Urtula contacted them to say he was planning on hurting himself, according to the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because You has not been arraigned yet.
At 8:37 a.m., Urtula jumped from the top of the Renaissance parking garage near the Ruggles MBTA station, according to his death certificate.
Rollins has said that You had used her phone to track Urtula to the garage and was present when he killed himself.
You, who studied economics at BC, grew up in Issaquah, Wash., a community of more than 39,000 people about 17 miles east of Seattle. In 2016, she graduated from Issaquah High School as a distinguished graduate for having achieved a grade point average of at least 3.7, according to the Issaquah Press. She was an avid tennis player who helped her team reach the county finals her senior year.
At BC, one student said You had confided in him about how stressed she was over her relationship with Urtula.
“I knew that she had a lot of problems going on,” the senior said, asking to remain anonymous. “I knew she tried her best, and she did care about people. I knew [the relationship] was difficult for her.”
The student did not provide details about what made the relationship difficult but described You as a funny, caring woman who appeared genuinely interested in helping others sort through problems.
“She was a very kind person,” he said. “When you talked to her, she would never seem like the type of person to say these kinds of things . . . I couldn’t believe that she would have done this.”
Binh Luu, a junior, remembered bonding quickly with Urtula over basketball when they met. Soon, they were playing regular pickup games at the gym together. Luu, who was a premed student like Urtula, frequently sought advice from his friend, who specialized in biochemistry and also planned to become a doctor.
“He really fits the model of being a leader and a mentor,” Luu said. “He really encompasses the idea of wanting to look out for people that are going to come after him.”
Luu had heard from mutual friends that Urtula was involved in a “bad, toxic” relationship but said he never expressed any problems to him. When he saw Urtula a few months before graduation, he had seemed fine and asked Luu how his classes were going, he recalled.
Urtula attended Regis High School, a prestigious Catholic institution in New York City.
In a statement, Father Daniel K. Lahart, the president of Regis, said Urtula was an “intelligent, talented and kind young man.”
“The Regis community was deeply saddened to learn of his passing in May,” he said.
Prosecutors said Urtula had been struggling with depression and expressed suicidal thoughts in the months before his death, and they described the case as a tragic example of domestic violence.
Toni Troop, spokeswoman for Jane Doe Inc., an organization that tracks domestic violence cases in the state, said Rollins is right to define the case that way. Including Urtula, there were 25 victims of homicides related to domestic violence in 2019, according to Jane Doe.
“Causing someone else’s death by whatever means is the ultimate form of domestic violence because it’s about controlling not only that person’s choices but their actual life,” Troop said.
There were 257 homicides related to domestic violence between 2003 and 2012, according to Jane Doe. Of that number, just under 15 percent of the victims were 24 or younger.
That figure “just reinforces to us why we need to reach people younger and younger and interrupt the negative, unhealthy behaviors,” Troop said.
If you need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).