Authorities in Massachusetts investigating the deaths of a mother and her two children outside a parking garage on Christmas Day believe all three died in a double murder-suicide, PEOPLE learns.
On Thursday, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins identified the mother as 40-year-old Erin Pascal, a resident of West Roxbury.
Investigators suspect Pascal either pushed or threw her two children — Allison, 4, and 16-month-old Andrew — from the top of the nine-story Renaissance Park Garage, located near Northeastern University.
After forcing her children to their deaths at around 1:30 p.m., Pascal then jumped, killing herself, according to Rollins.
Authorities have yet to disclose a possible motive for the double murder-suicide.
Rollins called the alleged crime “unspeakable,” according to WCVB, and said authorities were still trying to make sense of what happened.
The three were found unconscious on Wednesday afternoon on the sidewalk outside the parking garage.
“Though we remain in the very early stages of our investigation, the evidence collected thus far suggests that these deaths — which occurred between approximately 1:25 and 1:35 p.m. yesterday — were very likely a double murder-suicide,” Rollins said Thursday, reports WCVB.
The station, citing sources, claims Pascal’s husband called police after the couple had an argument, and she fled their Boston-area home with their kids.
Rollins said investigators are reviewing items recovered from her car, including her cell phone. It is also possible she called 911 moments before the murders.
“For a parent to come to a place in which they harm their children in this way, indicates that their mental health struggles were severe and in need of immediate supports,” said Rollins. “Mental health issues are not specific to one type of individual. It has many faces. This Christmas Day tragedy demonstrates the urgency of addressing mental health.”
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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addressed the crime on Twitter, writing, “This is a horrible tragedy for this family on this Christmas Day. My prayers and deepest sympathies are with them.”
GoLocalProv.com reports that Pascal was a graduate of Brown University and once worked as a reporter for the Providence Journal.
The site reports Pascal was the director of corporate social responsibility and community relations at Sanofi Genzyme, a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.