Mom, Dad & 3-Month-Old Found Dead in Possible Postpartum Psychosis Murder-Suicide


Saint Raphael The Archangel Catholic Church

When a grandparent went to check in on family, a horrifying scene was found: a new mom, her husband, and their 3-month old daughter all shot dead inside their Missouri home. Although police have yet to officially name the shooter, investigators reportedly believe that this was a double-murder suicide and that Mary Jo Trokey, 32, killed her husband Matthew, 33, and baby girl Taylor Rose before turning the gun on herself. 

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According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, authorities found a gun at the scene and a police source said they are looking into Mary Jo's purchase of a gun in the days before the killing. It's unknown whether the shootings occurred late Thursday night or Friday morning after the family was discovered on Friday afternoon. The source added that they are also investigating if a possible mental illness played into this tragic crime. 

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Experts told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that postpartum psychosis could have contributed to the reported murder-suicide. This extreme mood disorder can develop after childbirth, and according to Mayo Clinic, it is rare in new moms. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, attempts to harm yourself or the baby, confusion, sleep disturbances, and obsessive thoughts about the baby. 

The signs and symptoms can get worse with time and gradually make it hard to complete daily tasks. "Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment," Mayo Clinic's website adds. "If you have symptoms that suggest you may have postpartum psychosis, get help immediately."

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Saint Raphael The Archangel Catholic Church

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Although the St. Louis police have yet to officially name Mary Jo as the shooter and are declining to release additional information on the active investigation, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Captain Eric Larson did confirm to reporters that the cause was a domestic murder-suicide. "We're used to seeing trauma and violence," he said. "What we're not used to seeing is having it occur to innocent victims."

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The family's pastor, Reverend Bob Reiker, baptized Taylor Rose in December and told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he saw "no signs of trouble."

"It's hard to imagine what happened," he added. "People are baffled by it. It's inexplicable how someone could do this to themselves, let alone their little girl."  

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