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Cause of death released after mother and 2-year-old son fall at Petco Park

Raquel Wilkins and her son Denzel Browning-Wilkins died on Sept. 25, 2021 after falling from the third level of San Diego's Petco Park.
Image: 2016 MLB All-Star Game
The exterior of Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. The cause of death of a mother and her 2-year-old son who plunged from the third level of Petco Park has been released by police.Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images file

San Diego police have determined the causes of death of a 40-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son who plunged from the third level of San Diego’s Petco Park, just as thousands of baseball fans were heading inside for a Padres game last year.

Raquel Wilkins’ death on Sept. 25, 2021, has been classified as a suicide, and her son Denzel Browning-Wilkins’ death has been classified as a homicide, the San Diego Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.

“The detectives conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, reviewing of available video footage, and collecting background information to determine what led to the deaths,” the statement said.

The determinations were made in consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner, police said.

Dan Gilleon, an attorney for Wilkins’ family, disputed the findings and said the deaths were a tragic accident. He said the investigation’s conclusion is meant to shield the city from potential litigation.

“The city doesn’t want to explain why it concluded that a young mother would kill her only child at an event where witnesses said she was happy,” Gilleon said in a text to The Associated Press. “To me, the city is acting like any other defendant in a lawsuit: blame the victim, especially if they are not able to defend themselves.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.