BOSTON — A 40-year-old mother and two young children found on a sidewalk in Boston on Christmas Day “very likely” died in a double murder-suicide, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said Thursday.
The three were found unconscious outside the Renaissance Park Garage near Northeastern University just before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and pronounced dead at a hospital.
They were identified as Erin Pascal, from West Roxbury, and her children Allison, 4, and Andrew, 1, according to Rollins.
Authorities believe Erin Pascal threw the children off a parking garage before jumping to her death.
There was a call to police from the family home earlier in the day, but authorities are not releasing the nature of that call at this time, she said. Police believe the children’s father also lived with them.
Rollins encouraged those with mental health struggles to reach out to services for help, such as the suicide hotline.
“This horrible situation highlights the invisible struggles many members of our community confront and the devastation that can result,” Rollins said.
Authorities are searching the family’s vehicle, cell phone and any surveillance camera footage for more information on the case.
The death is the third suicide at this same parking garage in the past seven months. In May, a graduating Boston College student killed himself at the garage, and another suicide occurred there December 9, Rollins said.
Northeastern University spokeswoman Shannon Nargi said the university is addressing security.
“In early December, Northeastern University put additional security staffing in place to patrol three multi-level parking facilities on its Boston campus, including the Renaissance Park garage,” she said.
“Following Wednesday’s tragic incident, the university has indefinitely blocked both pedestrian and vehicular access to the top two floors of the Renaissance Park garage. This restricted access will continue until a permanent solution is implemented,” Nargi said.
“In addition, effective immediately, there will be 24-hour security staffing in place to monitor the Renaissance Park garage. The university is also installing additional surveillance cameras to ensure full coverage of the top of the garage.”
Kenneth Green, chief of police for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said Wednesday his heart goes out to the victims and the family.
“This is a tragic situation. Particularly when it involves children, as well as being on Christmas Day,” he said.
How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.