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Stoughton police officer resigns amid inquiry launched into woman’s suicide


Friends of the woman told the Boston Globe that she had a long-standing relationship with the officer and was pregnant with his baby.

Matthew Farwell and Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara from 2017. Facebook

Stoughton Police Officer Matthew Farwell, 36, resigned on Friday amid a year-long investigation by the police department that was prompted by the suicide of a 23-year-old woman who told her friends that she was pregnant with his child, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Farwell was placed on paid administrative leave shortly after Sandra Birchmore was found dead in her apartment in Canton on February 4, 2021, the World reported.

According to the newspaper, Birchmore had told several friends that she had met Farwell when she was a teenager and that he was an instructor in a police explorer program she attended.

Three friends told the World that Birchmore and Farwell began a sexual relationship when she was 15. The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16.

Birchmore’s friends told the World that their relationship continued through his marriage to another woman and that Birchmore told them she was pregnant with Farwell’s child in late 2020.

Farwell said in a statement to World that Birchmore’s death was a tragedy, but denied committing any crimes.

A friend of Birchmore, Lesley Davis, 26, told the World Birchmore had told her about fights between her and Farwell, including an incident where she said he pushed her.

“It looked like he wasn’t happy with the kid,” Davis told the World.

Davis also said she didn’t think Birchmore was lying about her relationship with Farwell or that she was pregnant with his baby.

In May, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Birchmore had committed suicide and confirmed that she was pregnant at the time of her death, but the identity of the father was not released, the World reported.

State troopers from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office investigated Birchmore’s death and shared the findings with Stoughton Police, prompting the investigation into Farwell, the World reported.

City manager Robin Grimm told the World that when the Farwell investigation is complete, it will be referred to the State Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, which has the power to decertify officers.


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