In a possible murder-suicide, an Illinois mom is believed to have strangled her son and daughter then hanged herself.
The bodies of Carla M. Lopez-Mejia, 27, Ezequiel Garcia, 11, and Ariana Garcia, 8, were discovered in their Lake in the Hills, Illinois, home a little before 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Police has been responding to a medical check call for “an unresponsive subject” when the three bodies were found. It is unknown who made the call to police.
The McHenry County coroner’s office sent a news release in response to the tragic discovery:”Preliminary scene findings suggest that this is a murder-suicide confined to these decedents and this location and that there is no threat to public safety.”
Preliminary autopsy results indicate the children died of asphyxia due to ligature strangulation while Lopez-Mejia’s cause of death was asphyxia due to ligature hanging. However, officials said they won’t release a final report until the investigation is complete, according to the Daily Herald.
“The kids just seemed happy, so you assume it’s a happy family,” neighbor Araceli Welsh told WLS Chicago.
Another neighbor told the Chicago Tribune that the children’s father as well as Lopez-Mejia’s mother and brother arrived to the scene shortly after police made the disturbing find. It is not known where the father was at the time of the incident.
“Whatever happened is a tragedy. … I really feel bad for the kids because they really didn’t deserve that,” neighbor Janaya Simmons told the Tribune. “It’s just a sad day here in Lake in the Hills.”
There is no known motive for the apparent double murder-suicide. However, neighbors noticed that Lopez-Mejia was more withdrawn and less sociable than the children’s father.
“Well, she didn’t talk to anybody much. She didn’t speak. My husband used to speak to her all the time. She never would speak. But her children and husband were very friendly,” Simmons said.
Crime Online will update the story as there are more developments.