The Oakland County Sheriff said the mother suffered from a mental health crisis. And that more needs to be done collectively to help those in need.
A woman and her two children were found dead in a field over the weekend after wandering the streets of Pontiac. Michigan for nearly three days in freezing temperatures, authorities said.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the death was preventable.
“This is a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy,” Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said. At a news conference Monday. mother, Monica Latrice Canady, 35, and her sons, Malik Milton, 3; and Kyle Milton, 9; He was found dead after 3pm. On Sunday, Bouchard said at a press conference.
He described them as underdressed and revealing.
Cannady’s 10-year-old daughter, who survived. Fell asleep in the field with her mother and brothers, woke up. Went to a nearby house and knocked on a door for help, Bouchard said.
“The girl took off her mother’s coat when she came,” he said.
He described and field as one of several plots of land in the community where houses once stood. And vehicles were abandoned The mother did not show up to take shelter. He indicated at the press conference.
Temperatures in Pontiac over the weekend dipped into the low. And mid-teens at night, with daytime temperatures reaching the mid-to-high-30s on Sunday. The family lived in an apartment and had been walking around. Their community since Friday, Bouchard said.
At one point, Canady took the family to a lake so he could drink water, she said.
Citing the autopsy, Bouchard said the cause of death was hypothermia.
“I would put accidental-slash-preventable,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard and her brother said the woman had been acting paranoid in recent days. Bouchard said she believed someone was tracking her phone with a microchip. And she distrusted authorities.
“The woman, the mother, was suffering from a mental health crisis. She believed that someone was trying to kill her and. The Detroit Free Press reported that the killer was on trial recently.
She said Cannady’s behavior quickly went from normal to abnormal this month. He recently bought a new car, Hersten told the station, indicating he was feeling better. But recently he rejected their mother’s suggestion that he seek help, she said.
Because the sheriff’s office warned people about walking. The streets without proper winter clothing. And his relatives urged him to seek help, Bouchard suggested. There were many points in his timeline when intervention could have saved lives.
He said deputies tried to contact the family but were unable to locate them. The surviving girl later told authorities her mother told the children to run. If they saw anyone approaching.
Bouchard said mental health providers and the mental health emergency response team. Two people in her office who can respond to reports of people in crisis. Need more funding from lawmakers in Michigan’s state capital as well as those in Washington, D.C.
Bouchard said the alarming suicide statistics, including those for law enforcement. Which may exceed the number of line-of-duty deaths in the United States. Show that mental health problems are widespread and often go unaddressed.
“We see deaths every day as a result of mental health crises,” he said. “And if Washington and Lansing tune into that, that would be great.”
Pontiac City Council member Melanie Rutherford said the crisis hits. Her community in a different way. With black women often pressed to be strong and refrain from seeking help.
“We need to have an open conversation about mental health. Especially in the African American community,” she said.
Rutherford said people with mental health problems, as well. As their family and friends, can seek help and medication.