What happened to Conrad Roy?

What happened to Conrad Roy?

Bradi Cheesman, Senior Staff Writer

Conrad Roy III committed suicide in a K-Mart parking lot in Fairbanks, Mass. on July 13, 2014, but what is the real story?

Roy was born on Sep. 2, 1995 in New Bedford, Mass. He was the oldest child in the family, having two younger sisters, Morgan and Camdyn.

Growing up, Roy was athletic and intelligent. He played baseball and was an avid baseball fan, as well as maintaining a 3.88 GPA.

Roy also worked with his father, grandfather and uncle at his family’s marine salvage business in the New England Area.

In June 2014, Roy graduated from Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett. Despite having a full ride scholarship to Fitchburg State University, Roy decided to stay home and work for the family business.

Despite seemingly having everything going for him, Roy struggled with social anxiety and depression. His parents divorced in 2011, and things only got worse.

He was put on medication to treat his mental health issues and also began seeing several counselors, including a cognitive behavioral therapist in the weeks prior to his death.

Roy’s mental state was in such despair that when he was 17 he attempted suicide by overdosing on acetaminophen. Luckily, he had Michelle Carter.

Carter and Roy met while on family vacations in Florida and maintained a long-distance relationship. The pair only saw each other in person a handful of times.

Carter was always described as being extremely nice, but quiet. Her friends said she was kind and caring, but she was insecure and needed extra attention. Because of this, Carter had a hard time making and keeping friends.

Carter, like Roy, was also dealing with her own mental health issues. Carter suffered from anxiety and an eating disorder, which she received professional treatment for.

Most of their relationship was based around the mental health issues they had in common. Their conversations normally covered anxiety, depression and suicide. Roy at one point admitted he wanted to kill himself. Carter encouraged him not to and counselled him for a long time despite having her own issues.

Roy began searching the internet for things such as “cyanide,” “death by cop” and “easy ways to find poisons.” He also began sending pictures of guns and nooses to Carter, who soon realized she was in over her head.

After receiving help for her eating disorder and receiving new medications for her anxiety, Carter encouraged Roy to seek professional help like she did, admitting that she could not help him.

On July 12, 2014, Roy’s sister received a message from Carter late at night asking if she knew where Conrad was.

During the day, the Roy family spent time together at the beach, but before dinner Conrad said he was going over to a friends house. His mom waved goodbye to him as he drove away in his black Ford truck. This was the last time she saw him alive.

Roy rarely didn’t come home, so his family became alarmed as well. They called the police and filed a missing person’s report.
Very shortly after the call, someone found Roy in the front seat of his truck in a K-Mart parking lot, his phone sitting next to him and waterpump in the backseat filling his car with carbon monoxide. Dead.

The death was ruled a suicide. The family was shocked and devastated, with Carter seemingly just as devastated.

On July 13, the day Roy’s body was found, Carter sent a text to his mom saying “I’m sorry for your loss. Conrad meant so much to me.”

Soon after Roy’s death, Carter began acting very suspiciously.

At the funeral, Carter forced herself to the front and stood next to family. She was crying hysterically, many saying it was clearly for attention.

Carter even asked the family at the funeral if she could go through Roy’s room and and have some of his things, as well as keep some of his ashes.

Despite the odd behavior, no red flags were raised.

Carter started a fundraiser, “Homers for Conrad”. The money donated was to go to suicide prevention and awareness, and Carter made a Facebook page to help spread word.

After Carter put up the page, she messaged some friends in regard to the page and said “I’m, like, famous now, check it out!”

Despite Conrad’s death being ruled a suicide, a detective wanted to go through phone messages on Carter’s and Roy’s phones just to check things out.

Initially, it seemed as if Carter was trying to talk Roy out of it. But after July 1st, the messages began to change.

Investigators noticed the switch and went to Carter’s school to ask some questions regarding the suicide. When questioned, Carter’s description of the night was very different than what texts showed.

Carter said she simply hadn’t heard from Roy, so she contacted his sister, but didn’t think anything was really wrong.

In truth, two days before Roy’s suicide, Carter was texting her friends and a boy she liked saying Conrad was missing and she didn’t know where he was.

Then, the night she contacted Roy’s sister to “check up” on him, she sent her friend Sam a text saying “Sam, he just called me and there was a loud noise like a motor, and I heard moaning like someone was in pain and he would not answer when I said his name. I stayed on the phone with him for 20 minutes.”

Carter sent another text that read “I think he just killed himself”.

As investigators began looking deeper into Carter’s messages with Roy, they discovered something alarming.

After months of convincing Roy not to commit suicide, Carter’s stance changed. She began to agree that he should do it.
Carter would send messages to Roy encouraging him to go through with the suicide, and trying to persuade him to do it. Everyday Carter would ask if Roy was going to kill himself that day, and would get angry if he “lied” to her about it.
Just ten days before Roy died, Roy began to have second thoughts about killing himself. He was worried about how his family would react, and he no longer wanted to go through with it.

Carter just began pushing him even harder to go through with it, saying “Just kill yourself already” and “your family will get over it.”

Carter even went as far as to recommend how Roy should kill himself.

Carter told him that carbon monoxide poisoning would be the best option, because it would not hurt.

Thanks to Carter’s recommendation, Roy’s first plan was to turn on a portable generator in his truck and die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

This plan didn’t work though. The generator wouldn’t turn on.

Roy became panicked when it would not work, and soon called Roy to see what to do. Carter took it into her own hands, and went as far as to look for someone who could repair the generator for low cost and in a timely manor, so he could carry through with his suicide.

Conrad decided against using the generator entirely and instead decided to use a water pump that he had gotten from work to do the same thing as the generator. It worked.

Carter admitted to her friend Sam that the night Conrad killed himself, he got out of the car and was not going to do it, but she told him to get back in.

She also admitted that after she knew Carter had killed himself, she sent a text to his phone saying, “I’m scared, are you okay?” to cover herself.

After going through Carter’s messages, investigators concluded that she was the mastermind behind the whole thing and was the one who pushed Roy to kill himself.

Despite it appearing to be her fault, a large question was raised: Could Michelle Carter be held responsible for Conrad Roy’s death?

On one hand, Roy was the one who killed himself, and had wanted to do so for years. On the other hand, Carter was the one who pushed him to do it.

Another issue to take into consideration was mental health. Both were mentally unstable and on intense medication that interrupts clear thought processes.

The biggest problem with the case was whether what Carter did was technically illegal.

With all of this on the table, the Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter trial began.

The main argument for the defense was that Michelle was put on new medication and had psychological problems.

The prosecution argued that Michelle manipulated Conrad into killing himself for attention.
Carter made the decision to put her fate in the judge’s hands completely and waived her right to a jury.

This decision was made in order for Carter to have a legal mind looking at the case in a fair matter. She believed this would allow her to avoid her possible 20 year prison sentence.
After going through the evidence, the judge came to his decision and Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail and 15 months of probation, but is currently free as she waits for an appeal.