A mother and her two daughters were found dead, with plastic bags over their heads, exactly three months after the Texas mom's soldier son committed suicide in the family's home.
Angela Mtambu, who was 47 and a nurse, reportedly killed her daughters, Callidora and Eudora -- ages 6 and 9 -- with nitrogen gas before taking her own life. This took place EXACTLY three months to the day after her 23-year-old son, Mitchell Gwatida, asphyxiated himself in his bedroom -- the same room his mom chose to commit this atrocious and devastating act.
Gwatida, who reportedly served in the U.S. Air Force from 2010 to 2013, killed himself in April, and the details surrounding his decision to do so are unclear. But it comes as no surprise that Mtambu was left grief-stricken after the incident and battled depression.
The 47-year-old mom's pain was so evident that one of her relatives told police she believed the woman was capable of hurting her children and herself. As a result, social services took the girls away and Mtambu was sent to get help at a Pennsylvania mental institution.
Apparently, the institution didn't have a legal reason to keep her there after a three-week stay because the mom wasn't exhibiting behaviors that led them to believe she was a danger to either herself or others. Mtambu was released approximately one week before she did this.
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And the scariest part? Her relatives saw the mom and girls right before this happened -- they went out for dinner with them the night before. They say there was no "sign" she was about to hurt her family.
I think this is one of those truly horrific stories that makes you want to point fingers -- mainly at the mental institution -- but at the end of the day, if Mtambu hid her grief well, how could a doctor keep her somewhere against her will? I feel for her because I couldn't imagine losing one of my children. But I know we're all wishing she had found the strength she clearly lacked to keep living for her other children -- who didn't deserve to have their lives cut short.
Do you feel empathy for this mom or find it difficult to forgive what she did?
If you have thought of suicide, or know someone who has, please reach out to a suicide hotline. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).