A mum who calmly looked her partner in the eye as she leapt from a balcony while holding their son had Googled ‘easy suicide’ before the tragedy.
Raquel Wilkins, 40, died alongside her two-year-old son Denzel Wilkins-Browning after she jumped from a high point of the Petco arena in San Diego, California, on September 29 last year. They fell six storeys from the baseball stadium platform, with US authorities later ruling their deaths as murder-suicide.
However, Raquel’s family challenged the ruling, with one eyewitness claiming that they saw the parent nearly lose her balance while standing on a bench. They said she then “again lost her balance and this time, fell over the edge”, the Mirror reports.
They added: “From my vantage point, looking at her back, it was almost like she rolled over the railing.” Her sudden decision to fall seemed odd as the pair were seen happy and laughing on the day and the family’s attorney claimed the ruling was useful for the owners of the stadium, as reported by the San Diego Tribune.
He claimed: “The city of San Diego owns that ballpark, it is legally responsible, assuming that what caused her to fall was anything but her intent. The only way the city is not at fault is if she intended to kill herself and her baby.”
Lieutenant Andra Brown said the police had come to the murder-suicide conclusion after “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 boyfriend of Raquel contests the idea that her death was an accident and said it was “very intentional, very planned”. Christopher Browning said she all of a sudden stared straight at him with “an eerie silence, like in a movie.”
“It was so quick, so fast,” he added to the New York Post. “Both of them went over. It was very quiet. I was in complete shock.”
Another witness backed up Christopher’s claims in a police report and argued the act was completely intentional. “Her demeanour walking up was so calm.
“She didn’t even look down. It looked just like she was trying to hop over a fence.”
Raquel’s mental state in the months leading up to her death had reportedly deteriorated and had broken down in front of her boyfriend before. She had searched for tips for taking her own life on her phone the day before.
“To grieve in a healthy way, you have to honour the truth,” Christopher said.
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