Teen Allegedly Encouraged to Kill Himself Went to 'Wrong Person' for Help, Friend Says

As his pickup filled with carbon monoxide and Conrad Roy got out, Michelle Carter told him to "get back in," police say

Photo: Courtesy Michelle Carter/Facebook; Courtesy Conrad Roy/Facebook

Those who were closest to Conrad Roy III knew the funny, flirty 18-year-old struggled with depression and had tried in the past to kill himself. Now, they are struggling with the revelation that one friend may have urged the Massachusetts teen to go through with it.

“Conrad spoke to that one wrong person,” his former classmate Louie Pina tells PEOPLE. On Feb. 6, authorities charged Michelle Carter, also 18, with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging Roy to take his own life last July.

Carter’s parents and attorney defend her against the charge. Says the Carter family’s lawyer Joe Cataldo: “She did not know what to do when she heard that he wanted to kill himself. This is a tragedy, but it is not a crime.”

Police tell a different story.

After poring though more than 1,000 messages that Carter and Roy exchanged in the week before Roy was found dead in his pickup truck from carbon monoxide poisoning, Detective Scott Gordon of the Fairhaven, Massachusetts, police wrote, “Michelle Carter not only encouraged Conrad Roy to take his own life, she questioned him repeatedly as to when and why he hadn’t done it.”

Afterward, Carter wrote to a friend about her exchanges with Conrad in his last moments, saying he was scared and didn’t want to abandon his family: “His death was my fault he got out of the car, and I told him to get back in because I knew he would do it all over again the next day.”

For more on Conrad Roy and the allegations against Michelle Carter, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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