Thursday, May 26, 2022

Police rule deaths of woman, child in fall at Petco Park as suicide-homicide

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Last September, a 40-year-old woman and her two-year-old child died in a fall from the third-level concourse to the sidewalk at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. The deaths occurred hours before the Padres were set to play the Atlanta Braves in a game that nevertheless proceeded as planned.

At the time, police told reporters that the deaths “appeared to be suspicious.” On Wednesday, San Diego police (in conjunction with the local medical examiner) classified the deaths of Raquel Wilkins as a suicide, and the death of Denzel Browning-Wilkins as a homicide.

“The detectives conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, reviewing of available video footage, and collecting background information to determine what led to the deaths,” the police’s statement said, according to CBS News

Wilkins’ family continues to dispute the police’s classification. 

“The city doesn’t want to explain why it concluded that a young mother would kill her only child at an event where witnesses said she was happy,” family attorney Dan Gilleon wrote in a text to The Associated Press. “To me, the city is acting like any other defendant in a lawsuit: blame the victim, especially if they are not able to defend themselves.”

Following the San Diego police department’s announcement, the Padres issued a statement, saying the team wants to “reiterate our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of those involved in this tragedy.”

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text a crisis counselor at 741741.

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