Woman accused of trying to kill two children with natural gas

An Illinois woman is accused of trying to asphyxiate her two young kids by using natural gas before attempting to take her own life.

Officers discovered an unconscious Tracy F. Johnson, 38, lying on the floor of her Hoffman Estates home Tuesday afternoon. A 5-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy were located nearby, according to WMAQ.

The Daily Herald reported that Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Maria McCarthy claimed the mother ground up a variety of medications and put them in a smoothie. The children didn’t like the taste so Johnson then attempted to administer the medications in water. When that didn’t work, McCarthy said she tied plastic bags over the kids’ heads with rope.

McCarthy said the 38-year-old also turned on the stove but didn’t light the burners. Responding officers detected a strong odor of natural gas in the home and called the fire department.

Johnson allegedly texted her mother that she loved her. From there, the woman’s mother contacted her daughter, who called the police.

Police Sgt. Mark Mueller told the Associated Press that the children were disoriented but alert. The trio was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The children tested positive for benzodiazepam, an anti-anxiety sedative. Johnson tested positive for that medication along with other opiates.

Prosecutors said the mom of two—who has a master’s degree in counseling—told officers that she didn’t want the children to be with their fathers and “heaven was the best place for all three of them.”

Attorneys also alleged that Johnson was angry at the father of her youngest child because he “was verbally abusive and did not take her problems seriously.” She supposedly threatened to harm herself in the past.

Johnson supposedly wrote on that the 2-year-old’s father was a “fraud” on a whiteboard in the Hoffman Estates apartment. An envelope with her life insurance policy which named her mother as the beneficiary was located near the whiteboard, the Daily Herald also reported.

Johnson is facing two counts of attempted homicide. Her next court date is on June 1.  The children are living with relatives.

[Featured Image: Hoffman Estates Police Department]