Cause of deaths released after mother, son fall at Petco Park in September
San Diego Police Department rules mother's death suicide, son's death homicide
San Diego police have determined the causes of death of a 40-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son who plunged from the third level of San Diego's Petco Park, just as thousands of baseball fans were heading inside for a Padres game last year.
Raquel Wilkins' death on Sept. 25, 2021, has been classified as a suicide, and her son Denzel Browning-Wilkins' death has been classified as a homicide, the San Diego Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.
"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 statement said.
The determinations were made in consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner, police said.
Dan Gilleon, an attorney for Wilkins' family, disputed the findings and said the deaths were a tragic accident. He said the investigation's conclusion is meant to shield the city from potential litigation.
"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," Gilleon said 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."