A friend of Alexander Urtula, the Boston College student who died by suicide in May following an alleged pattern of verbal and physical abuse by his girlfriend, said he never showed any signs of distress and was “kind, upstanding, and a good leader.”
Anara Chiongbian, a BC undergraduate studying economics and international studies, shared her recollections of Urtula in an e-mail.
Urtula died by suicide May 20, the morning he was scheduled to graduate from BC.
Prosecutors have charged his girlfriend, Inyoung You, 21, with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly driving him to take his own life with a barrage of harmful text messages, including hundreds of admonitions that he kill himself, and physical abuse during their 18-month relationship.
Chiongbian said she knew Urtula through her involvement with the Philippine Society at Boston College, or PSBC.
“Alex was my upperclassman, president of PSBC and the head of my ‘Pamilya’ (a tight-knit small group) at the Philippine Society of Boston College,” Chiongbian wrote. “Alex would frequently hold get-togethers and parties at his dorm for us. He helped me pick classes and helped me integrate our pamilya social life at BC.”
She said, “Alex never revealed any struggles with me. He always advocated perseverance through adversity and [a] work hard play hard mentality that was quite inspiring. I would say he was definitely the life of the party because of his sense of humour and unique ability to relate to and get to know people.”
Urtula, Chiongbian said, completed his studies one semester ahead of commencement and spent the Christmas holiday with his family in Manila.
“We were meant to meet up then, but the dates didn’t align,” Chiongbian wrote.
She said there’s a void on campus in the wake of her friend’s untimely death.
“I’m still a student at BC, but it’s not quite the same without Alex,” Chiongbian wrote. “Alex was kind, upstanding, and a good leader.”
Attempts to reach You and her family for comment haven’t been successful. An arraignment date in Suffolk Superior Court hasn’t been set, and the name of You’s lawyer hasn’t been disclosed.
If you need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Domestic Violence Hot Line is at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).