A Pennsylvania woman is facing murder charges and several other felonies in connection with the deaths of two young children. Both were found hanging in the basement of their Berks County home in September.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lisa Rachelle Snyder, 36, was arrested Monday morning and charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, animal cruelty, sexual intercourse with a dog, tampering with evidence, and child negligence.
According to Lehigh County coroner Eric Minnich, the official cause of death for Snyder’s children, Conner, 8, and Brinley, 4, has been listed as hanging. Both deaths are considered homicides. There were no drugs in their system.
Snyder, who called 911 on September 23 at around 4:30 p.m., reported that she found the children hanging by a dog leash line in the family basement. Police later found two dining room chairs found tipped over in the basement, around three feet apart from each other.
After calling 911, Snyder never returned to the basement, according to Berks County District Attorney, John Adams.
The suspect reportedly said Conner was being bullied at school and had threatened suicide in the past. She allegedly said the boy lost over 20 pounds since starting back to school because of taunts about his weight.
“He doesn’t say much because he knows that I will call the school,” Snyder allegedly told detectives, according to court documents. “He just comes home and he is just angry.”
MOTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER: A Berks County mother is facing murder charges in the deaths of her own two children, ages 8 and 4. The children were found hanging in their basement earlier this fall.MORE: http://bit.ly/35W0AFn
Posted by FOX 29 on Monday, December 2, 2019
School officials and other family members, however, told investigators that Conner never mentioned being bullied and never appeared angry or suicidal. Security footage of Conner getting off of his school bus on September 23 depicted a happy child who didn’t appear to be under distress.
Within hours, however, he was rushed to the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, along with his younger sister. Both were pronounced dead three days later.
Court documents indicate that investigators found evidence, including photos with a black and white dog, in some of Snyder’s emails that led to charges of animal cruelty and sexual intercourse with a dog.
Police began searching for the family dog shortly after the children’s death. Adams confirmed on Monday that law enforcement did eventually locate the dog alive.
Authorities searched Snyder’s cellphones and other electronic devices, which allegedly showed that she performed online searches for “carbon monoxide in a car how long to die,” and “hanging yourself” prior to the children’s deaths.
Snyder also searched numerous times for “almost got away with it,” apparently in reference to a popular Investigation Discovery show.
Snyder allegedly claimed that Conner came home from school on the day in question and said he wanted to build a fort in the basement. She said the boy asked to use a new dog leash line that was sitting on the dining room table. Snyder said she had just bought the dog leash line the same day.
The woman said she gave her son permission to use the leash line, then went to do laundry after she saw him taking two chairs downstairs to the basement. She said she walked outside to smoke a cigarette but when she walked back inside, she found both of her children hanging.
According to authorities, Snyder explained she tried to lift her 40-pound daughter but started sweating due to “anxiety spikes” and couldn’t get her down. She tried to lift Conner, who weighed around 150 pounds but also failed to get him down.
Police later interviewed an occupational therapist who worked with Conner previously at his school, who said he had poor dexterity skills. The therapist indicated it would have been highly difficult for Conner to hang himself, as he would have had problems with the clasp.
Adams added that Snyder told a friend she was depressed and “through” with being a mother. Adams also confirmed that the children’s father was not involved in their lives. No other arrests in the case are expected.
Snyder remains behind bars without bail.
The story is developing. Check back for further updates.
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[Feature Photo: Conner Snyder and Brinley Snyder/Facebook]