Boy in apparent Marina murder-suicide identified; attorney details custody battle

An attorney representing the mother of a boy who died in an apparent murder-suicide in San Francisco this week identified the victim as 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. 

The boy's father had been identified as 49-year-old Stephen O'Loughlin. According to Lorie Nachlis, the attorney for the boy's mother, Lesley Hu, the couple had divorced in 2016. 

The attorney said the couple were locked in an ongoing custody battle and a dispute over their son's care. 

"I believe that this matter involves mental illness as well as domestic violence," Nachlis said in a statement released on Friday. "As Father was seeing that he was losing his control, he punished Lesley with the ultimate act of violence: Killing her child. She will suffer, as intended, for the rest of her life."

A detail that emerged from the first reports of the incident said that the boy's father did not want vaccinations to be administered to his son against the mother's wishes. 

But the mother's attorney expressed concern that the tragedy would mistakenly be perceived as being about vaccines. She claimed the boy's father, "suffered from untreated mental illness." 

The boy and his father were found dead in their Scott Street home in the Marina District Wednesday afternoon.