Mother, son’s death in Padres’ Petco Park ruled suicide, murder

SAN DIEGO – San Diego police have determined the causes of death for a 40-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son who crashed from the third level of San Diego’s Petco Park just as thousands of baseball fans were heading into a Padres game last year.

Raquel Wilkins ‘death on September 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 available video footage and gathering background information to determine what led to the deaths,” the statement said.

The decisions were made in consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner, police said.

Dan Gilleon, a lawyer for Wilkins’ family, disputed the findings, saying the deaths were a tragic accident. He said the study’s conclusion is intended to protect the city from potential lawsuits.

“The city does not 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 behaves like any other accused in a lawsuit: Blame the victim, especially if they are unable to defend themselves.”

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