STOUGHTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A 19-month-long internal affairs investigation following the death of a Canton woman last year revealed that three former Stoughton police officers had inappropriate relations with her, according to the town’s police chief.

Chief Donna McNamara said 23-year-old Sandra Birchmore was found dead inside her apartment back in February 2021. Police went to check on Birchmore after her employer called and said she hadn’t reported to work in several days.

Birchmore’s cause of death has not been made public, however, an internal affairs investigation was opened after friends and family alerted detectives to her “toxic” relationship with Officer Matthew Farwell.

“Farwell said he went to her apartment to call off the relationship, and engaged in what he later called ‘a pretty nasty argument,'” McNamara said. “Birchmore was found dead days later.”

The months-long investigation revealed Birchmore had inappropriate relationships with three Stoughton officers: Farwell, his twin brother William Farwell and Robert Devine.

The officers had been mentoring Birchmore since she was 13 years old through the department’s youth explorers program, which McNamara said has since been disbanded.

But the investigation uncovered hundreds of explicit text messages between Birchmore and the three officers over the course of several years. It was also discovered that Birchmore had several physical encounters with the Farwell brothers.

“She was failed by, manipulated by, and used by people of authority that she admired and trusted, right up until her final days,” McNamara added.

The Farwell brothers and Devine have since resigned from the department. McNamara is looking to have them all placed on the National Decertification Index for their alleged actions, which would prevent them from working in law enforcement again.

“All three men, the Farwell brothers and Devine, violated their oaths of office and should never have the privilege of serving any community as a police officer,” McNamara said Friday. “Through a sustained and deliberate combination of lies, deceit and treachery, they violated the policies and core values of the Stoughton Police Department, not to mention human decency.”

McNamara said investigators also learned Birchmore was inappropriately communicating with an officer in another Massachusetts community and a military recruiter.

“We are in the process of notifying the appropriate chain of command of our findings,” she said.

The Farwell brothers and Devine have all denied any wrongdoing.

No charges have been filed against the former officers, though the findings of the investigation have been referred to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office for review.

“We have taken an oath to protect and serve our community and its people,” McNamara said. “We are held to a higher standard. These men violated their oaths and are unfit to serve as police officers.”

McNamara said as a result of the investigation, the entire department will be “trained and retrained” on the meaning of their oath, adding that the vast majority of the town’s officers “share in [her] outrage.”

“I stand before you today as a civil servant who is heartbroken and incensed by what has transpired and pledges that this chapter is over,” she continued. “It must never repeat and the revolving door is closed … anyone who violates that responsibility will be held accountable.”