The churchgoing mother of a newborn infant is believed to have killed her family in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mary Jo Trokey, her husband Matthew Trokey, and their newborn baby girl were found shot to death in their home in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood on Friday afternoon.
According to a police source who spoke to the newspaper, authorities believe the family died during the night and that Mary Jo shot her husband and baby before taking her own life.
St. Louis Police Capt. Eric Larson reportedly told the newspaper that the victims, who were the only people at the home that night, were all found in the same location and that there was no sign of forced entry to the home.
“Right now, it appears to be a murder-suicide,” Larson reportedly said.
Mary Jo Trokey pictured with her husband Matthew and daughter Taylor Rose. She is believed to have killed both before turning the gun on herself last week (Picture: KMOV/Facebook)A ‘depressed’ mom shot her three month-old dau… pic.twitter.com/Fwfe7qqyfW
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The police source reportedly said authorities were looking into the possibility that Mary Jo Trokey had purchased a gun within a day or two of the shooting, and that investigators believe mental illness may have been a factor.
The couple had reportedly been married for about five years, and had their baby girl baptized in December at St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, a Catholic church the couple had regularly attended for two years.
“It’s hard to imagine what happened,” the church’s pastor Rev. Bob Reiker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“People are baffled by it. It’s inexplicable how someone could do this to themselves, let alone their little girl.”
A family member who spoke to the newspaper was also shocked by the violent deaths.
“They’re just a good, Catholic family,” the relative said. “They’re good people.”
St. Louis-based psychologist Diane Sanford specializes in postpartum mood disorders, and told the newspaper that while it is uncommon for mothers suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis to commit a violent act, it appears this disorder could have played a role in the apparent murder-suicide.
Authorities have not yet released any details about a possible motive.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
[Feature image: Facebook/Mary Jo and Matthew Trokey]