Richard Roussin (Courtesy photo)
News, Police/Fire

Mother remains convinced her son was murdered in Lynn 11 years ago

LYNN — To this day, Ann Roussin cries every night over her son's death 11 years ago. 

"I'm brokenhearted still," Roussin said. "I want to let him rest and I want to rest, but I can't. That's all I do is cry, cry, cry, over 11 years. That's all I've done is cry. I can't sleep at night. I always wish it wasn't him in the casket, that he would just come walk through the door."  

Although police ruled his death an accidental drowning based on an autopsy from the medical examiner's office, Roussin remains convinced her 20-year-old son was murdered. 

Richard Roussin couldn't swim and would never go near water, she said, but he was pulled out of Flax Pond on May 7, 2008. He was found floating fully clothed in a red T-shirt, jeans and a pair of black Converse sneakers. 

Roussin said her son had been missing for about a week before he was found. On the fifth day of the search, the then-Maple Street resident remembered hearing helicopters flying around the nearby Flax Pond. 

Lots of kids have drowned in that pond and she was about to go down and check to make sure it wasn't one of her kids, but she stopped to answer the phone first. 

Twenty minutes later, a Lynn Police detective and two officers knocked on her door to let Roussin know they had found her son in Flax Pond. 

"Thank God something stopped me because if I went down there and saw them pulling my son from the water, I don't think it (would have been) a good thing for me to see," Roussin said. 

Hearing the news of her oldest son's death was devastating, she said. Eleven years later, Roussin said she has had no closure — she was never allowed to see her son's body and was instead shown a picture of his puffy face, what he looked like after he was pulled from the water. 

She said she won't have any peace until police find who is responsible for his death. Unfortunately for Roussin, that day may never come. 

Lynn Police Lt. Michael Kmiec said the case was closed a long time ago and the death was "not treated as a murder at any point in time." 

Roussin described her son as an amiable kid with lots of friends, but she believes who he associated with may have contributed to his death. Although Richard told her he wasn't in a gang, he was friends with known gang members and she thinks his death may have been related to that activity.

More than a decade later, not only Roussin, but the whole family, including her two other sons, remains heartbroken. Roussin said she goes to counseling and takes medication for her battle with depression. 

Dealing with the loss is especially hard for Roussin this time of the year, with the holidays around the corner and Richard's birthday in January. 

The sudden death put an end to a lifetime of unrealized potential for Richard. Before he died, Richard was recruiting for the U.S. Army with plans to join himself, and was active in sports such as football, kickboxing and taekwondo, according to Roussin. 

She described her son as a happy, good-hearted kid, who loved children and enjoyed helping people. 

"(I hope) that they catch somebody who did it so I can have some peace and so he can rest," Roussin said. "I'm sure he's not resting because I'm always upset." 

Although the case is closed, Roussin, who moved from Lynn to Nevada four months ago, urged anyone with any information to contact Lynn Police at 781-595-2000.  

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