North Andover, Mass. - Diruhi Mattian was making a therapeutic house call last night when things went very wrong. A little after 6 p.m., someone from Thomas Belanger’s apartment called 911. Belanger, 18, had stabbed his psychotherapist in the torso and then attempted to slit his own throat. Mattian, 53, was pronounced dead a short time later. Belanger is in the hospital and is expected to survive.
Diruhi Mattian was director of the Lawrence FLEX program, which is funded by the state Department of Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services. Its website says that “The services are primarily aimed at keeping the children safely at home with their families, in their community, out of residential programs and away from hospital care.” Mattian, a licensed clinical social worker, also ran her own non-profit organization called Aved Therapy that dealt mainly with panic and anxiety-based disorders.
Investigators working the scene are focusing their attention in an area between the living room and kitchen of the small apartment, which is listed under the names Elaine and Cassandra Belanger. Cassandra Belanger, Thomas’ sister, was at home at the time of the killing and is the likely 911 caller. Police have also taken a computer from the home and towed two vehicles from the scene, a white Toyota Corolla and a white Chevrolet sedan with Jesus and pro-life stickers.
Belanger has been formally charged with murder and is expected to be arraigned sometime today.Tags: