A Compassionate Texas Teen Died by Suicide. Her Boyfriend Was Just Arrested on Accusations He Aided Her

Zander Tashman has been charged in connection with the November death of Ellyse Suarez

<p>Frisco Police Department</p> Zander Tashman

Frisco Police Department

Zander Tashman

• Ellyse Suarez, 17, died by suicide in November, per authorities
• She was a loyal friend with a sarcastic sense of humor, her family says
• Her on-again off-again boyfriend Zander Tashman is accused of assisting her, police say

An 18-year-old Texas man has been arrested and charged in connection with the suicide death of his girlfriend in November, according to authorities.

Police in Frisco, Texas, arrested Zander Tashman on Sunday on accusations he aided the suicide death of his 17-year-old girlfriend whose body was recovered in a pond, the Frisco Police Department has said in a statement.

The teenage girl has been identified as Ellyse Suarez in an online obituary and in reports by WFAA and NBC 5.

Frisco police responded to a “suspicious activity” at a local park on Nov. 20 and recovered Ellyse's body, the department said in its statement.

An “exhaustive investigation” led authorities to believe that Tashman aided Ellyse in her suicide, according to the statement. Police did not disclose the nature of his alleged assistance.

Tashman is now charged with aiding suicide, which has a maximum punishment of two years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000, according to Frisco PD.

Ellyse's mother, Azucena Massey, told NBC 5 and WFAA that Tashman and her daughter were in an on-again off-again relationship over the past two years.

The relationship was “very meaningful” to her daughter, she told NBC 5.

It was "something that she wanted to work out so dearly that maybe she made decisions that she wouldn’t have made on a regular day,” she said.

Massey told NBC 5 and WFAA that she does not want to know the details of the charge against Tashman. 

“I hope and I pray that the justice system does what they need to do to make kids understand that saying nothing is not OK, and doing something to help someone that you know is not OK, is also not OK,” she told WFAA.

Massey also said she herself “minimized” Ellyse's calls for help when the high-school senior approached her a few weeks prior to her death, per the outlet.

“My main message is, if your child has the courage to ask you for help, please help them," she said, adding, "It takes so much for them to admit how they feel."

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In an online obituary, Ellyse was remembered as someone who had a sarcastic sense of humor and was compassionate.

“She was never afraid to speak her mind, especially when she felt others needed a voice and often was the first to stand up for others and defend what was right,” the obituary reads.

In a statement to NBC 5, Tashman's attorney Reynie Tinajero said authorities "made a poor and probably emotional choice to blame" his client.

"Zander and his family wish this horrible tragedy had never taken place either," Tinajero said. "Zander is an exemplary college student with no prior history of criminal behavior. Zander is innocent."

It wasn't immediately clear if Tashman has entered a plea. His bond has been set at $10,000.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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