Police Continue Investigation of Potential Murder-Suicide Involving 9-Year-Old Boy

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San Francisco police found the remains of 49-year-old Stephen O’Loughlin and his son, 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin, on Wednesday in the Marina District after arriving for a well-being check at the 3800 block of Scott Street.

Pierce’s mother, Lesley Hu, requested the check, who divorced O’Loughlin in 2016. Before the incident, Hu was in the middle of a court conflict over Pierce’s healthcare against Stephen. The father’s chronic psychiatric condition resulted partially to paranoia regarding his general obsession with Pierce’s health and vaccinations, according to Lorie Nachlis, Hu’s attorney.


“I think it is undeniable that Pierce’s father suffered from untreated mental illness, which resulted in his taking the life of his son and his own life,” said Nachlis. She argued their son died due to a complicated circumstance with his father.

From the court filling starting from September 2020, Hu had been showing an increased concern regarding Stephen’s obsession with Pierce’s health. In one of her fillings, Hu said that in 2012, Stephen joined a “new-age, self-help group” and had been convinced that civilians were being mind-controlled by the government.

“(O’Loughlin’s) stance on vaccinations has taken on a cult-like tone,” Hu said. O’Loughlin objected when Hu tried to get Pierce vaccinated, which later resulted in a court date over the issue, the San Francisco Gate reported.

“He punished Leslie with the ultimate act of violence, killing her child, and she will suffer as I believe was intended for the rest of her life,” Nachlis said. Law enforcement personnel continue to investigate the matter.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.