Two days before Monica Cannady and two of her children were discovered frozen to death in a Michigan field, concerned neighbours alerted authorities about a family strolling in the area while dressed in clothing that could not have protected them from the bitter cold.
In the days preceding up to the terrible discovery on January 15, the mother underwent a mental health crisis and was concerned that someone was out to murder her, according to Oakland County police. She reportedly advised her three children, Lilly, 10, Kyle, 9, and Malik, 3, to lie down and sleep in the field if they were approached by anyone.
Only Lilly would survive hypothermia, fleeing to a nearby house for help after awakening close to her mother and brothers’ bodies.
The local sheriff originally reacted to the news of the fatalities by criticising the nation’s dysfunctional mental health system, mainly ignoring the fact that his office had been made aware of the perilous scenario on January 13.
According to documents obtained by The Independent, at least one deputy who responded to complaints from concerned neighbours is now under investigation for allegedly failing to conduct a thorough search of an area where the family was spotted.
At three different places, two other officers provided coats to the family, whose children were just wearing sweatshirts and were wrapped in white bed sheets due to the 30°F weather. Cannady “did not appear to be suffering from any medical or mental health crises and repeatedly pleaded to be left alone,” thus authorities did not intervene further.
On the eve of the tragedy, when police were doing a welfare check on Cannady and her children, they discovered that her flat was vacant. Two additional calls by neighbours resulted in fruitless searches for the family in the vicinity.
Additionally, deputies could not immediately connect their past interactions with an apparently “lucid” Cannady to her family’s claims that she was experiencing a paranoid episode and “believed police was involved in the scheme.”
Within the intricate web of variables, including police reaction and a mental health crisis, an impossible question has arisen: Could the fatalities have been prevented?
Cannady’s relatives reported that she only recently displayed evidence of her mental health problem. Cannady had always cared for her children, according to her aunt Rodhesa Cannady, who told The Independent that she had no history of mental health issues.
“Whatever occurred in the past few weeks was her initial manifestation. Rodhesa Cannady stated that this tragedy was out of character for her and came out of the blue. “She loved her children, and that was the bottom line; it was her nature. She exemplified a [wonderful] mother.”
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