A 40 year-old mom and her two year-old son who plunged to their deaths from a California baseball stadium in what cops say are suspicious circumstances have been identified.
Raquel Wilkins and her son Denzel Browning-Wilkins were pronounced dead after they fell from the dining concourse at Petco Park – which is said to be the equivalent of six stories – at 4.11pm.
Wilkin’s Facebook page revealed that she was a regional lead at California Virtue Academy and a former chemistry teacher at Durant High School.
She also announced on her page that she was engaged to son Denzel’s father Christopher Browning – the same day of her and son’s tragic death.
The mom and son were with Browning who was reportedly in the stadium for the Padres game when the tragic incident occurred, according to the San-Diego Union Tribune.
Eyewitnesses said they saw Wilkins climb onto a bench, then fall, before picking herself back up and falling over the edge of the railing while holding Denzel.
Rachel Wilkins and her son Denzel, 2, died in what police say are suspicious circumstances after falling from a balcony at Petco Park baseball stadium in San Diego
Raquel Wilkins, 40, (left) and her son Denzel Browning-Wilkins, two, were identified by police on Wednesday after they both fell to their deaths at San Diego’s Petco Park
The pair fell off three floors from the dining compound at around 3.50pm on Saturday after they fell off a bench and over a railing
Facebook users commented on Wilkins’ page after her and her son were formally identified.
‘Very very sad and I am so sorry to the family/friends and witnesses. Poor baby boy Denzel.’
‘My heart is broken wide open for this family. Please know that the hearts of so many are with you,’ another added.
It was reported that Raquel had climbed on a bench near the edge twice with her child in her arms before they fell over the railing onto the west side of the ballpark.
Facebook users took to Wilkins’ account to express their condolences over her and her son’s deaths
Witnesses also said that Raquel appeared to be ‘happy and laughing’ before her and Denzel fell over the edge.
‘The victims’ deaths appeared to be suspicious, and out of an abundance of caution the San Diego Police Homicide Unit was called to the scene,’ Lieutenant Andra Brown said.
‘The investigation is ongoing, and detectives are still in the process of interviewing witnesses and attempting to locate evidence.’
Police arrived to the scene 20 minutes after the mother and son fell with the circumstances as to how and why remaining unclear.
Brown added: ‘How and why this happened are questions on the mind of many, especially the investigators looking for answers in this heartbreaking case.
‘Due to the large crowd present at the time of the incident, detectives have been interviewing numerous witnesses, and more are coming forward.’
San Diego police had arrived to the scene 20 minutes after Wilkins and her son fell where they were pronounced dead
In terms of Wilkins’ mental state before the incident, Mayor Todd Gloria suggested that she possibly may have been going through something.
‘Many people are suffering with depression, anxiety — either because that was the way that they’ve been for a while or because the pandemic has exacerbated it,’ Gloria said.
‘Whatever it is, seek out help. There is no need to harm a child, to traumatize others in our community. There’s help that’s out there if you need it.’
Gloria apologized for making these suggestions after he was criticized by the Wilkins’ family attorney Dan Gilleon.
‘It was reckless and hurtful for the mayor to (give an interview) that insinuates that (the mother) hurt her own kid and traumatized the community out of some intentional act, Gilleon told the San Diego Union Tribune.
‘What the family is trying to focus on are the memorial services for two people they loved dearly.’
Police were interviewing fans who may have been possible witnesses to the fall on Saturday
Emergency services tried to revive the pair but were unsuccessful as their injuries were considered too severe
The Padres released a statement to express their condolences over the loss of Raquel and Denzel.
‘We are deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park last evening,’ the statement read. ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of those involved.’
The incident, however, still remains under investigation.