Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
A Michigan mother and her two children were found frozen to death over the weekend after the mother experienced a “mental health crisis,” according to the county sheriff.
Monica Cannady, 35, “believed that someone was trying to kill her and that everyone was involved” before she and her children died, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.
Authorities found the children, ages 9 and 3, and their mother Sunday in a wooded area of Pontiac, which is about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. Bouchard confirmed that the cause of death was hypothermia.
Investigators also found a 10-year-old girl and took her to a local hospital, where Bouchard said Monday she was in stable condition. The girl had knocked on a door and said her “family was dead in a field,” Bouchard said.
Family members tried to help Cannady before she left with her children, but she refused, Bouchard said. When the family reached the wooded field, Cannady told her children to lie down and sleep.
Investigators explained that the family could have been out in the open for at least three days, despite having a home within a mile of where they were discovered.
“Over the course of a couple of days, we received calls about a woman and children who were not dressed appropriately for the conditions,” the sheriff said. “Agents would go there, search the entire area, and couldn’t find anyone.”
Sheriff advocated for better mental health support at the press conference and indicated that there is “much more” to be done in relation to crisis response and long-term solutions.
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