A mother and her two children were found frozen to death over the weekend in Michigan. A county sheriff said Monday that the mother had a “mental health crisis” before she died.
Before she and her children perished, Monica Cannady, 35, “believed someone was attempting to kill her and that everyone was in on it,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a news conference on Monday.
On Sunday, 9 and 3-year-old sons and their mother were found in a wooded area of Pontiac, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. According to CBS Detroit, Bouchard verified hypothermia as the cause of death.
A 10-year-old girl was also found and taken to a local hospital, where Bouchard said on Monday that she was in stable condition. Bouchard said that the girl had knocked on the door and said that her family was dead in a field.
U.S. Michigan mom, 2 boys found frozen to death; girl knocks on door and says her “family was dead in a field,” sheriff says pic.twitter.com/0fBaQeLv1M
— fml.lol (@fmllolnews) January 17, 2023
Bouchard said that Cannady’s family tried to help her before she left with her children, but she turned them down. Cannady told her kids to lie down and sleep when they got to the wooded field with their family.
Investigators said the family could have been out in the cold for at least three days, even though their house was only about a mile away from where they were found.
“Over the course of a couple of days, we actually had been getting calls about a woman and kids not dressed appropriately for the conditions,” said Sheriff Bouchard. “Deputies would go there, look all through the area and couldn’t find anybody.”
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At a press conference on Monday, Bouchard spoke out for better mental health support, saying that there is “so much more” to be done in terms of both short-term and long-term solutions. “It takes strength to ask for help. It’s not weakness,” he said. “It’s encouraged.”
Charles Witherspoon, who lives in the area, told CBS Detroit that neighbors saw the family. Cannady asked a neighbor for food because she was hungry, but the neighbor said he didn’t know they were sleeping nearby. “It’s terrible,” he said. “It’s terrible.”
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