Former Planned Parenthood staffer commits suicide after police raid, child pornography charges
This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
A 36-year-old former Planned Parenthood employee took his own life last week, police said, just five days after authorities raided his home in connection with a child pornography investigation.
Tim Yergeau had previously worked as the strategic communications director for Planned Parenthood’s Southern New England branch. While police have not specifically named Yergeau as the suspect in their child pornography investigation, local media has confirmed he was the intended target of a botched police raid on April 6.
“The person who died was definitely the suspect in a child pornography investigation and the person who committed suicide,” New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson told the New Haven Registrar.
The New Haven Police Special Victims Unit conducted a raid on what it thought was Yergeau’s residence five days prior to Yergeau’s Tuesday suicide, but instead broke down the door of his upstairs neighbor, Stacey Wezenter. Police handcuffed Wezenter and questioned her about Yergeau’s whereabouts, before seeing her young son’s toys around the apartment and realizing their mistake.
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“Unfortunately, a mistake was made,” Jacobson told the Registrar of the incident. “We feel for the woman and we’re going to do everything we can to make it right.”
Yergeau left Planned Parenthood to become the communications director at Long Wharf Theatre in August 2022.
Police have yet to release details of the warrant and charges against Yergeau, saying there are still two open investigations related to the matter. Police have also declined to reveal what was found inside Yergeau’s apartment once they searched it.
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Police say they have also opened an inquiry into how Yergeau committed suicide following the raid.
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Meanwhile, Wezenter filed a complaint with the New Haven Police Department, alleging she was traumatized by the raid and unjust handcuffing. Police had burst through her door at 6 a.m. on April 6.
“What if I had a gun permit? What if I came down the hallway with a gun? Would I have gotten shot? What if my 4-year-old had woken up? Would they have shot him?” Wezenter said to the Registrar. “You just don’t do that to people.”