BOSTON (CBS/AP) — New details emerged Thursday as authorities continue to investigate the deaths of a mother and two young children who were found unconscious near a Boston parking garage on Christmas Day. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins described the case as a likely double-murder suicide at a news conference.

She identified the woman as 40-year-old Erin Pascal, of West Roxbury, and the children as 4-year-old Allison and 16-month-old Andrew.

“The evidence collected thus far suggests these deaths. . . . were very likely a double murder-suicide,” Rollins said.

According to Rollins, it appears the two children fell first, then the mother.

Related: Witnesses, Police Process Christmas Day Tragedy After Death Of Woman And 2 Children

WBZ-TV Chief Investigate Reporter Cheryl Fiandaca reported that, according to sources, there appears to have been a domestic dispute between the children’s mother and father. Sources said Pascal took the children from their home, and the father called police to say that she appeared to be suicidal.

The woman and children were found unconscious Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. on a sidewalk near the Renaissance Parking Garage. They were rushed to an area hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Rollins said the investigation is still in the “very early stages” and authorities aren’t aware of any kidnapping complaints at this time.

Erin Pascal. (Family photo)

“Yesterday the unspeakable happened and now we are all struggling to make sense of the circumstances surrounding these deaths,” she said.

Video showed police looking at an SUV, with several doors wide open, parked on the top level of the parking garage, which is adjacent to the Ruggles MBTA rail station. Police said there were two child car seats in the vehicle.

The car police are investigating in connection with the two children and one woman found dead near Ruggles station Christmas Day. (WBZ-TV)

Neighbors are struggling to make sense of what happened.

“It’s one thing to take your own life, but defenseless kids, it’s horrible,” said Seth Tenenbaum who lives just a few doors down from the family. He remembers seeing the children in the yard.

“It’s just a horrible story,” Tenenbaum said. “I mean the defenseless kids. Anybody who could do that to their own children – it’s terrible”

The medical examiner’s office will determine the ultimate cause of death.

The investigation will be headed by Rollins’s office, with assistance from Boston Police, Boston Transit Police, and Northeastern University Police. The deaths occurred outside a garage that is owned by the school.

Northeastern University added patrols at all of its garages earlier this fall. Yesterday, the university closed off access to the upper floors of the structure.

Rollins confirmed this was the same parking garage where Boston College student Alexander Urtula jumped to his death in May on the day he was scheduled to graduate. Another suicide happened at the garage earlier in the month.

“If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, there are services available to help you,” Rollins said. “This Christmas Day tragedy demonstrates the urgency of addressing mental health, suicide and homicide.”

Anyone who needs help Samaritans statewide hotline 877-800-HOPE. Help is also available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (59)
  1. Jose Grunt says:

    Biggest killer of children under the age of five? THeir mothers.

    1. Freeland_Dave says:

      And most of those don’t make it alive from the womb.

      1. Tara y Terminiello says:

        over 100000 waiting for adoption now…amd another 400000 i foster care…go get a couple now!

      2. Joe says:

        I dont know but something has to get banned here, either Mothers or Parking Garage’s, I decide which.

      3. bmarie says:

        What is more evil in this world; the acceptance of murder as preference to a challenging life, at least in the view of the already-born, or the acceptance of evil as a mental state that can’t be judged. Yes, people have deranged states of mind, and sometimes they have walked right into that deranged state as the culmination of a lifetime of bad choices, not by accident or mistake.

      4. Elisa says:

        wrong. Over 2 million American couples ready to adopt now and less than 3000 in foster care able to be adopted.

      5. kofi baah says:

        If you make it out of the womb, society doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. You could be starving to death and people will be throwing away food. You could be homeless and people will be buying 100 million dollar homes. You could be naked and people will be buying $65,000 jackets as Christmas gifts for their kids.

        I don’t have any emotions when somebody decides to commit suicide. This is a very cruel and cold world. Everybody has the right to kill themselves.

      6. robert says:

        Suicide and depression are caused by mercury usually from dental fillings. Solution is Andrew Cutler protocol.

    2. A J says:

      Biggest killer of children our gun shootings!

      1. Kevin Bearly says:

        Liar. You have an agenda and lie to support it because you have no facts.

      2. Aleric says:

        Would you like to provide proof of that Writeloudly?

      3. Justista says:

        Biggest lie around.
        Pools, cars ,bicycles, abortion. You name it. They all kill more children than firearms.

      4. billnye therussianspy says:

        Maybe this is true in AJ’s liberal family.

      5. carcar jinks says:

        that is ONLY true in communist countries where the government has all the guns (the kind of government that YOU support)

    3. Ms. A. Dodge says:

      Who has the Highest percentage of causing the deaths of Families, mothers, fathers and children? DCF and Essex County Family court!!! And that is a real LIFE FACT IN MASSACHUSETTS. For DCF (DSS) It’s been that way now for well over 75 years.

    4. JohnD says:

      And they will burn in hell for their sin

  2. John Gillis says:

    Holy God. This left me speechless.

  3. MURDER suicide. The two children were murdered.

  4. Wilson says:

    babies committed suicide? they “fell”? Fake news. Woman murdered her two children by throwing them off a parking garage, then jumped to escape justice.

    1. B. W. says:

      No, I think that the report makes it clear that the two children were murdered by the mother, and then the mother committed suicide.

  5. Guest says:

    What a double standard. If this were a dude it would be called a murder.

    1. n says:

      Did you read the headline? Did you watch the video? No one is saying it’s not a murder suicide

  6. Marjorie says:

    An incredibly sad situation. Please spare them your judgement.

    1. Freeland_Dave says:

      But discernment of wrong doing is OK. Condemnation however is not permitted. I do not judge and condemn her bur I do discern she murdered her two children before she took her own life, both against God’s will.

    2. Elizabeth says:

      Um, yes – sad for the children – but when you throw your small children off a roof, you don’t deserve to be spared “judgment”.

      1. Can you not imagine that the mother was in a desperate state of mind–not likely killing her children out of malice toward them but probably out of a warped attempt to have them with her forever?

  7. Marjorie says:

    Whatever happened to “there, but for the grace of God, go I”, or is that not part of contemporary Christianity?

    1. John Newhouse says:

      And where is that located in the Bible, oh great scholar? Is it Hezekiah 3:9,next to that so oft-quoted scripture that “God helps those who help themselves”?

    2. NoName4Now says:

      Murdered by the drug companies she worked for??
      Whistleblower that got too close?

  8. A J says:

    If you want take yourself out? Go for it but don’t take others with you!

  9. Writeloudly says:

    Who edited this piece? “Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins the woman who died was the mother of the two young children. The woman was 40 years old and the children were 4 and 15 months.” Respect the story and the family.
    My heartfelt condolences to the family.

    1. Writeloudly says:

      Thanks for correcting the error.

    2. The woman was obviously disturbed probably suffering from depression; very sad

  10. Bill Crosby says:

    Have you ever tried to find parking in Boston around Christmas?

  11. CITIZEN says:

    HOW CAN SHE BE SO IMMATURE. what did the kids do to deserve this. this makes me angry and SHE IS NOT A MOM, SHE IS A PSYCHOPATH KILLER.

  12. Remember when says:

    Fall is what happens when you get dropped.

  13. nowaytoday says:

    Most likely TDS Syndrome and got sucked up in the middle of msnbc and cnn.

  14. Flannigan McGaffigan says:

    SPLAT,…SPLAT-SPLAT.

  15. if you can murder them in the
    womb….
    what’s the diff?
    another tds casualty.
    unable to see another year of
    prez trump exposing the
    demoncrats.
    …very sad indeed…

    1. William J says:

      Have an agenda to support don’t you? You waste of space. Doesn’t surprise me one bit that you’re a Trump supporter. Only you could take a tragedy like this and turn it into politics and your anti-abortion agenda. Don’t want an abortion? Fine! Then don’t get one. And there for sure is a difference between an abortion and what happened here. And what, you take some kind of joy about hating half the country? Why? Because Fox news told you to? You are everything that is soulless and wrong in this country and while I know my words won’t change your mind, may they shame you nonetheless, you idiot savant.

      1. John Newhouse says:

        Yeah. That’s rich from a guy whose side seizes on every school shooting to try to take guns out of the hands of those that didn’t do it.

      2. John Newhouse says:

        And the only difference is that YOU accept as socially acceptable the murder of children in the womb and not those outside of the womb, while we condemn both.

  16. exexpat11 says:

    It is okay. She was just having a couple of abortions in the 12th and 18th Trimester then decided to conduct a “Death Board” on herself. And to end the debate. Democrats kill more people (including children) than all other causes combined.

  17. Roger Rinaldi says:

    I just watched “The Big Short” again for third time. Kind of sets the mood, especially being one of the 8,000,000 who had their homes stolen with forgery and criminality at the hands of the banks and the Courts. This kind of desperation and tragedy unfolds daily across our country, and mostly caused by our DEBT-BASED MONETARY SYSTEM that, quite literally, has enslaved our society. The Swamp Creatures that populate our Government (paid 3 times the average, lifetime benefits, free insurance) are responsible, indirectly, for the abandonment this woman must have felt to end her life and that of her children. Someone (or many) failed this woman. They should be ashamed. May God somehow help all involved to find peace. For now, it eludes me.

  18. RightStuff1944 says:

    Permanent solution to a temporary problem, I’d bet.

  19. James R. Poissant says:

    So very sad right now.

  20. Devak Ananda Das says:

    Problems between parents? This is what it can lead to……..the murder of their children.

  21. jimmy matho says:

    another deranged liberal

  22. Terry Ternes says:

    If antidepressants were used and triggered the feelings of despair and suicidal thoughts you won’t hear about it because thats personal health care privacy. That stuff goes on and on. SSRI’s will always get a free ride.

  23. mplo says:

    What a horrible story! Sorry for the father having to deal with such a tragedy and loss, especially during the holidays.

  24. mplo says:

    John Newhouse–what a bunch of baloney! In the first place, your post is a real non-sequitur, and in the second place, choosing to abort an unwanted pregnancy is not murder.

    1. John Newhouse says:

      Oh! What a tremendous blow! How will I overcome such an articulate rebuttal? /sarcasm/

  25. Glumisha says:

    This mother is an obvious Trump-supporting hate monger. Nothing new here.

    1. Carl Parsons says:

      She was a previously a journalism student. She worked at the Brown Daily Herald. She was a liberal Democrat.

  26. Carl Parsons says:

    Men, don’t marry liberal Democrat women.

    Let this serve as a warning to you.

  27. Rich Bees says:

    Mental health struggles? She was on some form of SSRI. Everyone who engages in this kind of behavior is on SSRIs, either just starting or coming off the drug. It’s a pandemic but people will blame everything else. Find out what she was on.

  28. Vadym says:

    Are there any maternal mental illness facts?

  29. to many questions says:

    Just wondering what woman committing suicide would bring their purse and cvs bag full of products to her death. Sounds like the husband plotted the whole thing….

    1. Remember when says:

      Maybe bought Benadryl to put kids to sleep. This is so sad.

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