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Conner and Brinley Snyder

Friend of mother accused of killing children found hanging in basement says the kids seemed happy while suspect complained of depression [EXCLUSIVE]

The friend of a Pennsylvania woman accused of killing her own children says that she was shocked to learn that a seemingly happy 8-year-old boy had been accused by his mother of taking his own life.

Maigan Sandt said accused murderer Lisa Snyder dated her brother in 2016. She said she had known Snyder for years and although she didn’t see Snyder as much after her brother passed away, she never would have guessed Snyder would harm her own children.

Sandt said she saw Snyder’s two youngest children, Conner and Brinley, many times. The children seemed happy and Snyder appeared to be a caring mother, Sandt said.

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Snyder later killed her children, according to police. Conner, 8, and Brinley, 4, were found hanging from a beam inside the basement of their Bucks County home earlier this year, in September.

“I’ve met the kids many times, my brother dated her before he passed away,” Sandt told CrimeOnline. “She didn’t seem like a bad mom, the kids never showed signs of being unhappy when I saw them.”

Snyder also allegedly told Sandt that she took medicine for depression. Sandt said Snyder told her that she was “getting better” and never mentioned anything about wanting to harm her children.

When Sandt heard about the children’s deaths, she was shocked. She was even more surprised to learn that Snyder allegedly said Conner “didn’t want to go alone,” and took his sister’s life, as well as his own.

“I NEVER expected this to happen but when I saw the news and realized it was her, I had that gut feeling because it just all seemed impossible for Conner to do.”

On September 23, first responders rushed the children to the hospital after Snyder contacted 911. Sandt reached out to Snyder, offering her sympathy when she learned the children were in the hospital on life support.

Sandt said she was surprised by Snyder’s emotionless reaction to the situation, even referring to the doctors “pulling the plug” when the children showed no brain activity. Sandt said she surmised that Snyder was likely in shock over the situation.

Authorities said the children were found hanging by a dog cable. Snyder apparently had a dog at the time but started to make arrangements to give the dog away while the children were in the hospital. She allegedly sent Sandt a text message, asking her to take the dog for a small rehoming fee.

Sandt didn’t take the dog, but authorities later located him safe with another owner. Sandt said she heard the dog was now in Virginia.

Investigators said Snyder was sexually abusing a dog prior to the children’s deaths. Authorities alleged that Snyder sent someone nicknamed “daddy” photos of a black and white dog performing oral sex on her.

She’s also accused of taking a photo of the dog while he lied on his back. Snyder’s hand was resting on the dog’s penis, according to the arrest affidavit.

Lisa Snyder [Police Handout]

Conner and Brinley

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Snyder was arrested earlier this month 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 Conner and Brinley has been listed as hanging. Both deaths are considered homicides. There were no drugs in their system.

After police arrived at Snyder’s home, they found the children still hanging by the dog cable. They also found two dining room chairs found tipped over in the basement, around three feet apart from each other.

After calling 911, Snyder never returned back to the basement, according to Berks County District Attorney, John Adams.

Snyder 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.

She then claimed Conner hanged himself and his sister because he didn’t want to die alone, according to a 911 call.

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 cable that was sitting on the dining room table.

Snyder said she had bought the dog cable the day prior and that it arrived in the mail on the same day Conner asked to borrow it.

Afterward, she said she went to smoke a cigarette outside, and when she walked back in, she found the children unconscious.

Connor Snyder and Brinley Snyder
Conner and Brinley [Facebook]
The arrest affidavit, however, paints a different picture. Snyder is accused of searching online for “carbon monoxide in a car how long to die,” and “hanging yourself.” She also searched for  “almost got away with it” several times, apparently in reference to a popular Investigation Discovery show.

On the day the children were found in the basement, Snyder made another online search for “Does a hybrid car produce carbon monoxide?”

School officials, students, and family members indicated that Conner was a happy child and never said anything about being bullied. On the day he died, he didn’t appear to be under any distress after he got off of his school bus, according to security footage obtained by investigators.

Lisa Snyder Arrest Affidavit by Leigh Egan on Scribd

According to authorities, Snyder explained she tried to lift her 40-pound daughter from the dog cable but started sweating due to “anxiety spikes” and couldn’t save her. She tried to lift Conner, who weighed around 150 pounds but also failed to get him down.

“I would agree that we all may think that a mother whose children were found hanging would make every effort possible to save them. That was not done in this situation,” Adams said during a Monday press release.

Investigators interviewed an occupational therapist who worked with Conner at his school, helping him with 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. Prior to the children’s deaths, Snyder reportedly told the friend that she was depressed, couldn’t get out of bed, and didn’t care about her children anymore.

“I don’t know there is any explanation for her behavior at all. I don’t think I can stand up here, nor anyone, and explain the horrific loss of two innocent children’s lives.”

Snyder’s charges in connection to animal abuse stem from online conversations she had with someone nicknamed “daddy.” Police alleged that Snyder sent “daddy” photos of a black and white dog performing oral sex on her.

She’s also accused of taking a photo of the dog while he lied on his back. Snyder’s hand was resting on the dog’s penis, according to the arrest affidavit.

Adams said that the children’s father was not involved in their lives. No other arrests in the case are expected.

According to the children’s obituary, Conner attended Greenwich Elementary School in Lenhartsville. Brinley attended Pre-K at Early Learning Community in Kutztown.

Snyder remains behind bars without bail.

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[Feature Photo: Conner Snyder and Brinley Snyder/Facebook]