Ontario police said in a statement that on Tuesday, Aug. 20, they were called out to a house in the 500 block of East Tam O’Shanter Street, in response to a report of “unknown trouble.”
They said investigators discovered the bodies of two of the woman’s daughters, aged 4 months and 14 years old, who were both found dead in the garage.
The father had called 911 after finding his children deceased and his wife unresponsive.
“Once [the father] discovered [the victims], he called the police in a lot of distress,” police Sgt. Bill Russell said, according to ABC7. “The father is distraught. You figure at this point, he’s lost both his children and his wife is in the hospital injured, and he’s lost everything at this point. I’m sure he’s dealing with a lot of stress and a lot of emotion.”
First responders administered first aid, police said in the statement, adding that they were “unsuccessful in reviving the children.” Russell described to ABC7 the responders’ actions at the scene of the crime.
“They were administering CPR to an infant and to a teenager. And so, especially knowing that those efforts were unsuccessful, [it] just was heavy on everybody’s hearts and minds,” Russell said. “And it can be really traumatizing for our officers as well as our dispatchers who have to listen to these things unfolded over the phones sometimes. It can be very traumatizing, and it’s tough on them too.”
Police cited by KTLA 5 later said that investigators discovered two suicide notes, one in the garage and the other inside the home.
“Investigators worked throughout the night,” police said in a statement, “and have discovered strong evidence leading them to believe the mother of the children is responsible for their deaths.”
No details were given as to the content of the notes other than the fact that they indicated the same intent.
“Right now, what we can tell you is that the children were intentionally killed. It appears as though the mother is the one responsible for that act,” Russell said, KTLA reported.
Police said they have not determined the motive but noted that the mother had been struggling to cope with depression.
“We do know that there was a struggle at the scene, which may have played a factor in the deaths,” Russell told KTLA, adding, “there were visible injuries on the children.”
An autopsy is to be conducted by the San Bernardino County Coroner, police said, which will determine the children’s cause of death.
The mother, whose name has not been disclosed, was transported to an area hospital “for treatment due to an apparent attempted suicide.” Police said they have not been able to interview her yet but noted that she is the sole suspect in the slayings.
The elder victim was identified as a child with special needs.
Police continue to investigate.
Ontario Police continue their investigation into the death of two children in the 500 block of East Tam o’Shanter St. The mother has been identified as the lone suspect in the homicide. pic.twitter.com/N5QMh3AwYE
— Ontario Police Dept. (@OntarioPD) August 21, 2019
Here is information on suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates on June 8, 2018, revealing that suicide rates have increased by 30 percent since 1999. However, the report points out that there were a variety of factors other than mental health conditions that lead to suicide.
“Suicide rates increased significantly across most states during 1999–2016. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among persons with and without known mental health conditions,” the report stated.
If you or someone you know is showing signs that they might be suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 800-273-TALK. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255.