A Pennsylvania woman accused of killing her two children and sexually assaulting the family dog reportedly planned to kill herself after her arrest.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 36-year-old Lisa Snyder is behind bars in connection with the deaths of her children, Conner Snyder, 8, and Brinley Snyder, 4, Both children were found hanging by a dog lead line inside the basement of their Berks County home on September 23.
Four days later, while on life support at the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, both children passed away.
In December, Snyder was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, animal cruelty, sexual intercourse with a dog, tampering with evidence, and child negligence. She was denied bond and remains behind bars.
On Wednesday, during a preliminary hearing, witness Jessica Senft testified that she spoke with Snyder shortly after the children’s deaths. Senft indicated that Snyder confided that she fully expected to be arrested, but since she had no criminal record, she also expected to be released on bail, the Morning Call reports.
Snyder allegedly told Senft that she would kill herself once she was released.
“All you have is speculation and guesswork,” defense attorney Dennis Charles told prosecutors during the court hearing. “You don’t have any evidence that Lisa Snyder hanged these children.”
Assistant District Attorney Margaret McCallum argued that not only was Snyder the only person in the home when the children died, but an occupational therapist who worked with Conner had previously said that the boy would not have been able to manage the clasp on the dog cable.
“Conner was incapable of doing this to himself. He was incapable of doing this to his sister,” McCallum retorted.
Due to safety concerns, the preliminary hearing was held at a district judge’s office, according to Berks County District Attorney John Adams. The district judge ruled that enough evidence was presented to send Snyder to trial.
Snyder called 911 on September 23 at around 4:30 p.m. to report the incident. After police arrived at Snyder’s home, they found the children unresponsive and hanging by a single dog cable. They also found two dining room chairs found tipped over in the basement, around three feet apart from each other.
Snyder allegedly said her son Conner had previously spoken about suicide after being bullied about his weight at school. Snyder’s cousin, Kimberlynn Watson, testified in court on Wednesday that Conner was a happy child and never mentioned anything about being bullied to her.
Students at Conner’s school, along with school staff, previously said they saw no indication of the boy being bullied. Conner’s teen brother previously said that the boy never talked about being bullied.
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 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.
A previously-released 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?”
On the day he died, Conner didn’t appear to be under any distress after he got off of his school bus, according to security footage obtained by investigators.
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 then tried to lift Conner, who weighed around 150 pounds but also failed to get him down, according to what she claimed to investigators.
“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 in December.
Adams said in December 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 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, Krumsville. Brinley attended Pre-K at Early Learning Community in Kutztown.
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[Feature Photo: Conner Snyder and Brinley Snyder/Facebook]