A Michigan mother and her two children were found frozen to death over the weekend after the mom suffered a “mental health crisis,” the county sheriff said Monday.
Monica Kennedy, 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 at a news conference Monday.
Authorities found the sons, ages 9 and 3, and their mother Sunday in a wooded area of Pontiac, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. Bouchard confirmed the cause of death was hypothermia, CBS Detroit informed.
Investigators also found a 10-year-old girl and took her to a local hospital, where Bouchard said Monday that she was in stable condition. The girl knocked on the door and said her “family died in the field,” Bouchard said.
Family members tried to help Canady before she left with the children, but she refused, Bouchard said. When the family arrived in a wooded field, Kennedy told his children to go to bed.
Investigators said the family may have been outside in the cold for at least three days, despite the home being about a mile from where they were found, CBS Detroit reported.
“For several days, we did receive calls about a woman and children dressed inappropriately,” Sheriff Bouchard said. “The deputies went, looked at the whole area and did not find anyone.”
At a news conference on Monday, Bouchard advocated for better mental health support, saying “much more” needs to be done in terms of crisis response and long-term solutions.
“It takes strength to ask for help. It’s not weakness,” he said. – It is encouraged.
Charles Witherspoon told CBS Detroit he lives in the area and said neighbors have seen the family. Witherspoon said Cannady asked a neighbor for food because she was hungry, but he said he had no idea they were sleeping near his house.
“It’s terrible,” he said. – It’s terrible.