Texas Teen Charged With Aiding in Suicide of Girlfriend, 17, Found Dead in Pond 3 Days Before Thanksgiving

Zander Tashman
"Zander is an exemplary college student with no prior history of criminal behavior. Zander is innocent," said the attorney for Zander Tashman (above)LinkedIn, FPD

Zander Tashman has been charged in connection to the death of his girlfriend, Elysse Suarez, who police said took her own life.

A Texas teenager is facing a criminal charge for his alleged role in his girlfriend’s suicide, officials said.

Zander Tashman, 18, has been charged with aiding suicide following the death of 17-year-old Elysse Suarez, the Frisco Police Department announced this week.

"After an exhaustive investigation, evidence collected in the case indicated that 18-year-old Zander Tashman of Frisco aided the deceased, his 17-year-old girlfriend [Elysse Suarez], in committing suicide," the FPD said in a media release. "Subsequently, Detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest, and Tashman was taken into custody on Feb. 18, 2024."

Police found Suarez deceased in a pond on Nov. 20, 2023 after responding to a report of suspicious activity at Frisco Commons Park in the city, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area.

She died just three days before Thanksgiving.

Authorities are not releasing any further information about the case at this time, but did say that the charge Tashman faces is a "felony punishable by not more than two years or less than 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $10,000."

Tashman has yet to enter a plea. He and his family released a statement through their attorney, Reynie Tinajero, shortly after his arrest.

“Zander and his family wish this horrible tragedy had never taken place either. I’m sorry authorities made a poor and probably emotional choice to blame Zander and to do so in a public way,” the statement read. “We’ll be making our case in a court of law. Zander is an exemplary college student with no prior history of criminal behavior. Zander is innocent.”

Some have said the case calls to mind the trial of Michelle Carter, the teenager from Massachusetts convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 for her alleged role in her boyfriend's suicide.

In that case, Carter was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison and five years’ probation.

Carter appealed that decision but after exhausting all attempts, reported to prison in February 2019.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or dial 988. Those seeking mental health support can also do so through Crisis Text Line by texting SHARE or APOYO to 741741 for free, 24/7 confidential support.

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