Massachusetts authorities are searching for answers after the mother of a 2-year-old boy and her friend, who had a 9-month-old daughter, were found dead inside a submerged vehicle in a Boston Harbor channel, according to their families and authorities.
The Massachusetts State Police (MSP) announced in a press release on Friday that they had recovered the bodies of two victims — “a male and a female, both believed to be young adults” — who had been missing for several days.
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The victims were found inside a submerged SUV in the Reserved Channel leading to the harbor in the Boston Seaport, approximately 40 feet below the surface of the water and about 15 feet away from the pier, MSP said.
Authorities later identified the pair as 21-year-old Tatianna Morales, of New Bedford, and 21-year-old Djovany Pierre, of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, leaving their loved ones confused about what led to this tragic incident.
“It doesn’t make any sense for them to just drive into the water,” Yeison Giron, Morales’ high school sweetheart and the father of her young son, told Boston news channel WHDH. “She was not depressed, she was not suicidal, she was very, very happy.”
“She takes our son everywhere [and] our son could have been in that car,” Giron added. “Thank God he was not.”
The submerged car
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Morales reportedly traveled from New Bedford to meet with Pierre in Boston on Tuesday, according to WYCN. The pair had just met about three weeks ago via Facebook, but were nothing more than friends, Morales’ cousin Reina Castro told ABC affiliate WCVB.
That evening, she was supposed to return home and pick up her son, but she never showed up, which caused Giron to worry.
“She texts me and calls me every night,” Giron told NBC affiliate WJAR. “And it’s not like her to just leave our son and disappear for a night. She would never do that.”
Lee Campbell, Morales’ aunt, echoed Giron’s sentiments, explaining to WCVB, “Tatianna would never leave her mother, number one, and definitely wouldn’t leave her son.”
While they searched for the pair, friends and family noticed that Morales had posted a video on Snapchat Tuesday, which provided information about her possible whereabouts.
“On Snapchat, you were able to tell in her last video,” Morales’ friend Nikki Ramos told WYCN. “You were able to make out that last location.”
MSP said in its press release that authorities initially were drawn to the area of Black Falcon Avenue, between the Black Falcon Terminal and 88 Black Falcon Ave., on Friday around 12:30 after receiving information that an SUV went into the water earlier that week.
The Massachusetts State Police Underwater Recovery Unit, the State Police Detective Unit for Suffolk County, Boston Police, Boston Fire, and Massport Police also responded to the scene to search for the missing pair.
Eventually, divers were able to locate the submerged vehicle with the two deceased victims inside.
“MSP divers were able to extricate the female victim and bring her body to shore,” the MSP wrote. “The male victim could not be extricated from the vehicle while underwater, so divers hooked tow cables to the entire vehicle and a truck winched it out. The male victim was recovered from the vehicle once it was on land.”
At this time, it is unclear how the car ended up in the water. A cause and manner of the deaths currently remain under investigation, according to MSP.
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As family and friends grapple with the tragedy, they’re also finding comfort in memories of the 21-year-olds who they believe had so much life ahead of them.
“She would walk into a room and her smile would make everybody else smile,” Ramos told WYCN of Morales. “Her laugh made everybody laugh, she was the light in the darkness.”
Brendon Hilaire, Pierre’s friend, added to the outlet: “It’s scary. He’s such a good person, his soul is so good, he’s never the type to do anything bad, he doesn’t have the heart to.”
Loved ones are also expressing their heartbreak for Morales and Giron’s little boy, who is celebrating his birthday this week.
“Her son is going to be 2,” Castro told WYCN. “Sadly, she won’t be here to see that.”
A GoFundMe page arranged by Giron to cover Morales’ funeral and raise money to help send their son to college has so far raised nearly $12,000.
A fundraising page for Pierre, meanwhile, said he was an “honest, hardworking and very loving young man” who left behind a 9-month-old daughter. That page has so far raised more than $2,000.
“For this to be the ending is so sick and sad and we just want answers,” Ramos said.