The mom who fell to her death along with her 2-year-old son at the San Diego Padres’ baseball park has been identified as 40-year-old Raquel Wilkins — who indicated on her Facebook page that she got engaged on the same day.
Thousands of fans were streaming into Petco Park for Saturday afternoon’s game when Wilkins and her child – identified as Denzel Browning-Wilkins – tumbled from the stadium’s dining concourse around 3:50 p.m., police said.
“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,” Lt. Andra Brown told KUSI on Wednesday afternoon.
“The investigation is ongoing, and detectives are still in the process of interviewing witnesses and attempting to locate evidence,” she said.
“How and why this happened are questions on the mind of many, especially the investigators looking for answers in this heartbreaking case,” Brown said, adding that detectives have been interviewing many witnesses.
Witnesses have told several media outlets that the mom climbed on a picnic bench, fell off and then climbed back on with her boy before falling again — this time over the railing to their deaths.
One person told Fox 5 San Diego that the woman appeared to lose her balance while laughing.
She “started jumping on the bench of the table closest to the railing, holding the baby in her arms,” the witness told the outlet. “She lost her balance and fell off the bench. I remarked to my son, ‘Oh my gosh, she almost fell.’”
Wilkins described herself on Facebook as a regional lead at the California Virtual Academies, nine virtual schools grades K-12. She also listed herself as engaged and a former chemistry teacher at Durant High School.
Her father, Donald Wilkins, told News 8 that she had texted him pictures on Saturday showing her and her son smiling and happy at Petco Park – and said he had no reason to believe she would commit suicide.
He added that his daughter would have never hurt her son, saying, “She was really lovey to him — he was her life.”
Brown said the child’s father also was at Petco Park when the incident happened before the Padres were ready to play the Atlanta Braves.
“We feel horrible for the families. Our hearts obviously go out to the family members but also to the people here who could potentially be traumatized by this, that saw this,” Brown told News 8.
“We are speaking to the father of the child. They were not married, but we do have the father of the child and we are speaking with him,” she said.
“The San Diego Police officers that arrived on the scene did a very quick assessment. It was sadly very apparent that they were both deceased here. However, they did try resuscitative efforts on the off chance that perhaps there was still life. They did try but it was very apparent that they were deceased,” Brown added.
In a statement, the Padres said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park … Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of those involved. We will continue to refrain from comment on the nature of the incident as it is an ongoing investigation by the San Diego Police Department.”