A former Boston College student is answering allegations that she urged her boyfriend through texts to kill himself by highlighting messages in which she says she tried to stop him.
“Don’t do this,” wrote 21-year-old Inyoung You to the boyfriend, 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, according to excerpts of more than 75,000 messages exchanged between the couple during the two months before Urtula killed himself last May in a jump from the roof of a parking garage.
The messages were shared with The Boston Globe by a public relations firm representing the woman, reports the newspaper.
“I’m far away on a tall place and I’m not gonna be here for long,” Urtula wrote in one reply to You, who was trying to track his location after he disabled his phone’s GPS shortly before he died. “I’m leaving everyone.”
“ALEX,” You wrote back, resorting to all caps and some misspellings. “WHAT SRE YOU [expletive] DOING. IF U [expletive] LOVE ME STOP. IF U EVER [expletive] LOVED ME STOP.”
“I did love you just not well enough,” Urtula responded. “Good bye.”
“STOP,” You wrote.
“You’ll have everything once I’m gone,” he answered.
“PLWASE STOp,” You texted next. “Talk to me. STOP. STOP. PLESEE. IM CRYING PLEASE. PICK UP. PLEASE . . . DON’T LEAVE ME LIKE THAT. IF U EVER LOVED ME STOP. IF YOU WANNA SHOW ME U LOVE ME STOP . . . please pick up . . . talk to me please.”
There was no further response.
Authorities who charged You with involuntary manslaughter say other texts found on Urtula’s phone led them to believe that You had a role in his death, which occurred two hours before he was scheduled to graduate from the college.
“Suffolk County prosecutors, and the MBTA transit police detectives determined that Ms. You was physically, verbally and psychologically abusive toward Mr. Urtula during their 18-month-long relationship,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced last month in a statement previously obtained by PEOPLE.
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On the day Urtula died, You ultimately caught up with him and was on the parking garage roof with him when he jumped, according to the statement.
You had “complete and total control” over her boyfriend, Rollins said, and in other text messages recovered by investigators, allegedly told Urtula to “go kill himself,” to “go die” and that “she, his family, and the world would be better off without him.”
“The investigation revealed that Ms. You used manipulative attempts and threats of self-harm to control him,” Rollins said in her statement. “It also found that she was aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse, yet she persisted, continuing to encourage him to take his own life.”
In August, You withdrew from Boston College and returned to her native South Korea. It is unclear who is representing her or when she might return to the United States to face charges; her defense team, which asked not to be identified by the Globe, said the texts shared with the newspaper were authentic.
It seems to echo the Massachusetts case of Michelle Carter, then 17, who used texts and phone calls to urge her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to go through with a plan to kill himself in 2014. After those texts were revealed, Carter was charged and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months in jail.
Carter could be released as soon as February, more than two months early, as a result of “good time” credit earned for her exemplary participation in jail programs.
After losing her appeal in the state courts, Carter’s defense team appealed her case to the U.S. Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds and is waiting to learn whether it will be heard.
Rollins said in her statement that she believed You would willingly return to answer the criminal allegations filed against her in her current case.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.