A Michigan woman going through a mental health crisis and her two sons were found dead over the weekend after taking refuge in a Detroit-area park.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard identified the victims as 35-year-old Monica Cannady, 9-year-old Kyle Milton, and 3-year-old Malik Milton, Fox Detroit reported.
An autopsy determined they died from hypothermia.
“This tragedy was based in a mental health crisis,” Bouchard said Monday.
A 10-year-old girl survived but is hospitalized with hypothermia. Authorities learned of the deaths when the girl knocked on doors and said her family was dead in a field.
Bouchard said Cannady had an apartment but was going through a mental health crisis that led her to seek shelter outside her home. She apparently thought someone was out to get her, the news outlet reported.
On Saturday, Cannady and the children were knocking on doors, telling people they were hungry. Authorities had received calls about a woman and underdressed children but deputies could not find them, they said.
Family members later told authorities that Cannady told the children to hide if people approached them. It appeared that the family was sleeping in an abandoned vehicle, but Bouchard said Cannady told the children to lie on the ground.
“They were amazing, so smart, and it’s just so sad that they were so young, didn’t even get to experience life yet,” Cannady’s brother, Andre Harsten, who had been searching for her all weekend, told the news outlet. “And I wouldn’t blame her. I just want to know what happened. What was in her system? I need answers to that, so I can know what type of state of mind she was in. This never, ever has been her.”