Three former Massachusetts police officers and two other individuals allegedly had “inappropriate relations” with a pregnant woman who died by suicide earlier this year, according to a 19-month internal investigation by the Stoughton Police Department.
One of those relationships — according to a copy of the final report, obtained by PEOPLE — allegedly began when the woman was a 15-year-old girl.
The findings were announced during a press conference held on Friday by Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara.
Sandra Birchmore, according to the report, died by suicide in February 2021. The 23-year-old woman’s body was discovered inside her Canton apartment, after she failed for several days to show up for work.
“I am here to talk about today is her life and how she was failed by, manipulated by and used by people of authority that she admired and trusted right up until her final days,” McNamara told reporters. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty
It was unclear how far along in her pregnancy Birchmore was, and her cause of death was redacted in the report, which makes no mention of who may have been the unborn child’s father.
McNamara alleged that a former officer, Matthew Farwell, was 27 when he began an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old Birchmore.
The report further alleges two other former officers — William Farwell, Matthew’s twin brother, and Robert C. Devine — also had inappropriate relationships with the girl.
All three officers, the report adds, were involved with the department’s Explorers program, which provides youth the chance to explore a law enforcement career by interacting with local police. Birchmore was part of the program from 2010 (when she was 13) through 2016.
No charges have been filed in connection with the case. Chief McNamara answers questions. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty
The report alleges Matthew Farwell was seen in surveillance video at Birchmore’s apartment four days before she was found dead.
He spent 20 minutes in her apartment, according to the report, which notes Farwell was “the last known person” to see her alive.
Matthew Farwell allegedly admitted during his interview with investigators he knew Birchmore for about 10 years. His brother allegedly told detectives he and Birchmore began having an inappropriate relationship in 2019, per the report. Meanwhile, Devine is accused of having inappropriate text conversations with Birchmore between late 2020 and Feb. 1, 2022.
The report alleges that all three violated department policy.
Two other men are accused of being inappropriate with the girl. The Stoughton Police Department’s headquarters. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty
At the press conference, McNamara said the findings of the probe were “deeply troubling” to her “as a human being and a police chief.”
She added: “Ms. Birchmore was a vulnerable person who had one constant in her life: An unwavering admiration for police officers, of those serving in the military. People in uniform. People with oaths and duties to protect and serve. The admiration led her to form relationships with men who were willing to take advantage of her.”
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.