Mom and Kids Found Hanging, One Child Lives
By ANGELA K. BROWN
HUDSON OAKS, Texas (May 29) - A relative found the bodies of a 23-year-old woman and her four small daughters hanging in a closet in their mobile home in Texas Tuesday morning, all of them dead but an 8-month-old, who was taken to a hospital, the sheriff said.
Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the victims in the Oak Hills mobile home park, about 25 miles west of Fort Worth.
The woman's sister, who lived nearby, had stopped at the home after the woman failed to show up for work, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said. He said the sister rescued the infant when she realized the baby girl was still alive.
The other children, ages 5, 3 and 2, had all had been hanged with strips of clothing and sashes, Fowler said.
"It's terrible, terrible," he said.
The infant was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth and was in good condition, Fowler said.
Neighbors in the rural community of 1,600 were stunned. Less than five years earlier, another Hudson Oaks family was torn apart when Dee Etta Perez, 39, shot her three children, ages 4, 9 and 10, before killing herself.
Fowler said the hangings Tuesday also appeared to be murder-suicide, but the investigation was still under way.
The young mother and her girls were last seen alive Monday evening, he said. She was believed to be separated from her husband, who Fowler said has been notified of the deaths.
I just got a big kick out of watching the kids play over there on her porch, and today it's sad, very sad," said neighbor Joyce Harris.
Texas has seen a disturbing number of child killings by mothers in recent years.
Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family's Houston bathtub in 2001. In 2003, Deanna Laney beat her two young sons to death with stones in East Texas , and Lisa Ann Diaz drowned her daughters in a Plano bathtub. Dena Schlosser fatally severed her 10-month-old daughter's arms with a kitchen knife in 2004.
All four of those women were found innocent by reason of insanity. Yates initially was convicted of capital murder, but it was overturned on appeal.
Associated Press Writer Jamie Stengle in Dallas contributed to this report.