A woman and three young children under the age of 10 were found dead in a sedan, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
The Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner said that a civilian called 911 on July 7 after finding the woman and children dead inside, PIX11 reported.
The Post-Standard reported they had sources involved in the investigation that told them it was a murder-suicide committed by the mother.
Unidentified investigators told the Post-Standard that the note allegedly left behind by the mother indicated that it was likely she committed a murder-suicide.
They were also told they died by burning charcoal in the trunk that eventually led to carbon monoxide poisoning.
District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the Syracuse Post-Standard the children were aged 3, 7, and 8 years old.
Fitzpatrick said that some of them were on the autistic spectrum, but did not know how many of them were actually autistic.
In another instance of suicide, a 10-year-old Houston boy reportedly killed himself after being bullied.
Kevin Reese Jr. was in fifth grade at Robinson Elementary School and seemed like a happy child, mother Crystal Smith told KTRK.
“Kevin was a goofy child. He’s my little goof troop, I called him,” Smith said.
But he was struggling because he was dealing with relentless bullying at school, she said.
“I just thought he was handling the situations. They wrote on his tablet to kill yourself, ‘You don’t belong here,'” Smith said. “When it got physical back in November, he came home crying because he didn’t fight back and one of the boys punched him several times coming from recess.”
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On Jan. 21, Kevin and his 13-year-old sister got off the school bus and went into their home. Soon, Smith got a call from her daughter.
“She was just screaming on the phone, and I didn’t understand and she screamed, ‘Kevin,'” Smith said. “He hung himself in his closet. I told her to hang on with me, if you cut him down and while you’re cutting him down, call 911.”
Unfortunately, it was too late.
Allie Sauls, a child counselor, said that bullied children are ending their lives more often recently, calling it “quite an epidemic.”
The four main factors she sees with her young patients, Sauls told KTRK, are pressure at school, social media, problems at home, and bullying.
Smith said she reported the bullying to the school district, but an official said the boy who Kevin said punched him denied doing so. The district initially said it hadn’t received information about the alleged bullying, but after being presented with a voicemail the official left Smith, it said it had received the information. The district said the official was reassigned to another position.
Sauls said that the case is proof children are aware of suicide and that parents can and should talk about the issue with her children.
“There’s been plenty of studies that show that by talking to your kids about suicide, it is not putting that idea into their head,” Sauls said.
Earlier this year, a 10-year-old Kentucky boy, Seven Bridges, who was also bullied incessantly, ended up taking his own life, his mother said.
“We need to talk about this bullying,” Tami Charles, the boy’s mother, told WBTV. “Talk about this pain. I want people to do that with their children.”
Here is information on suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates on June 8, 2018, revealing that suicide rates have increased by 30 percent since 1999. However, the report points out that there were a variety of factors other than mental health conditions that lead to suicide.
“Suicide rates increased significantly across most states during 1999–2016. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among persons with and without known mental health conditions,” the report stated.
If you or someone you know is showing signs that they might be suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 800-273-TALK. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Young people can call the Kids Help Phone on 1-800-668-6868.
In the United Kingdom, suicide hotline Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or you can email [email protected].
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.