A mother drowned her two children in the bathtub before hanging herself in a cupboard in a horrific double murder-suicide, it has emerged.
Nancy Johnson, 37, from Semmes, Alabama State, USA, drowned her two-year-old son Jacob and five-year-old daughter Mia in the bathroom, say police.
Then she slashed her daughter’s throat with a knife before hanging herself with a silk belt in a hall coat cupboard on 28th September, reports local media.
The gruesome discovery was made by the children’s father Derek Johnson, who was estranged from their mother.
Local media reports that the couple were separated and in then middle of a bitter custody battle.
Before killing herself Johnson had arranged her children’s bodies on a sofa and covered them with a blanket, police told local media.
Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch said: “There was clearly some psychiatric issues with the mother.”
Police confirmed that both children died from drowning, but that the girl’s blood loss played a significant part in her death.
Johnson’s autopsy confirmed she died from self-inflicted strangulation.
Sheriff Burch said: “When you enter the back door of the home, there was a sofa to the righthand side, and the children were positioned on that sofa.
“They had been basically cleaned up by water from being submerged.
“When the father found the children, they were covered with a blanket.”
Police say the children’s father is not a suspect but they are investigating the role child care officials may have played in the deaths.
Sherrif Burch said: “There are some loose ends that need to be tied up.
“There’s some things that we were made aware of that I’m concerned about, and I don’t want to point fingers and speculate till we get some of the documents.
“But what I’m hearing is that it is highly likely that somebody in the system dropped the ball.”
“I’m not necessarily looking at it from a criminal aspect, but I’m damn sure looking at it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Now Derek Johnson has launched a fundraiser to help him tear down the bathroom where the children were drowned.
He said: “I loved Mia, Jacob and Nancy so much. Nancy had been struggling with mental issues and was having an identity crisis since the pandemic started.
“We have been in a custody battle for the past six months and she kidnapped my kids for around 2.5 months, so I had no contact with them and then they were suddenly taken from this world in the worst way possible around a day before I arrived back to the house.
“Now I am at ground 0 and left with around 25,000 in debt, a bathroom that I can’t possibly stare at where my children were drowned, I want to tear it all out.
“Any help is appreciated, I have 0 motivation in life right now and can’t function that well at the moment.”