In a horrifying story out of New York last night, a 25-year-old mother drove her minivan into the Hudson River, killing herself and three children ages 5, 2, and 11 months old. Even more tragic is the fact that it doesn't appear to be an accident, and that Lashandra Armstrong seems to have intentionally killed them all.
The only hint of light in this story is that their 10-year-old brother, Lashaun Armstrong, was able to escape the van and swam to shore. But even that dim light is clouded in incredible heartache.
At a press conference this morning, police told how Armstrong drove her minivan off of a boat ramp sometime last night in the popular area surrounded by restaurants and stores. The boy was the only witness. After swimming to shore, a passerby picked him up and drove him to a fire station.
A rescue mission was launched, but it was only the poor lifeless bodies of the children as well as that of their mother that they found.
The question now is: Why? Why would a mother be so desperate to destroy her family like this? Answers may be long in coming if they ever really come, but what we know so far is devastating.
It seems to have been triggered by some sort of argument. Police were called to the family's apartment around 7:45 p.m. regarding a domestic dispute. The woman's aunt called police after becoming concerned during a phone conversation with Armstrong. The children's father, Jean Pierre, has been questioned by the police, but no charges have been filed.
So now we're left to wonder as police work to put the pieces together. Was it financial difficulties? A marital spat? Something worse? To think of those poor babies in the care of the woman they should have been able to trust most in the world only to be plunged to their death by her is heartbreaking.
While we want and need to know why, there's nothing now that will bring these babies back. It's the surviving 10-year-old who I can't stop thinking about. How do you live the rest of your life after something like that -- knowing that your own mother tried to kill you, and killed your siblings? The guilt and the anger have got to be overwhelming, and I hope he gets the help he needs to cope as best he can.
What do you think could drive a woman to drown her children like this?
Image via YouTube