A Michigan mother of three was tragically found frozen to death with her young children after suffering a “mental health crisis.”
The bodies of 35-year-old Monica Cannady, her two sons, Kyle Milton, 9, and Malik Milton, 3, were discovered in a Pontiac park Sunday afternoon, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Monica’s 10-year-old daughter miraculously survived.
During a Monday news conference, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard explained the mother of three “believed someone was trying to kill her and that everybody was in on it.” He solemnly added:
“This tragedy was based in a mental health crisis.”
Following autopsies, CBS reported the same day that the three sadly lost their lives to hypothermia.
Authorities became aware of the situation after Monica’s daughter knocked on a nearby resident’s door and informed them her family “was dead in a field,” according to Bouchard. We guess once her mother passed, she was able to leave and tell someone. But it was too late for her brothers… How traumatizing for the poor little girl. Luckily, she’s now safe and in stable condition at a hospital.
Investigators suspect the family could have been out in the cold for at least three days, despite their home being only about one mile from where they were found, according to CBS. The sad thing is, there were actually reports of the situation by concerned onlookers days before the family’s eventual death — Bouchard revealed during the Monday news conference:
“Over the course of a couple of days, we actually had been getting calls about a woman and kids not dressed appropriately for the conditions. Deputies would go there, look all through the area and couldn’t find anybody.”
The Sheriff went on to advocate for better mental health resources, saying there is “so much more” to be done for those suffering. He added:
“It takes strength to ask for help. It’s not weakness. It’s encouraged.”
Charles Witherspoon, a neighbor of Monica’s, told CBS he saw the mother and her children asking for for food, but apparently had no idea they were sleeping out in the elements:
A GoFundMe, which you can visit HERE, has been set up for Monica’s surviving daughter, now an orphan — her father, Kyle Milton, was murdered in 2021, and his accused murderer’s trial is currently underway, according to WXYZ. Kyle’s stepmother, Theresa Milton, told the outlet about Monica on Monday:
“She was a good mama. She took care of her babies. They were dressed warm, they had clothes always matching, hair done, they were clean.”
The grieving grandmother added she had no idea of her daughter-in-law’s mental state. Monica’s brother, Andre Harsten, told Fox 2 Detroit Tuesday:
“They was amazing, so smart, and it’s just so sad that they were so young, didn’t even get to experience life yet.”
He says he still has questions regarding his sister’s and nephews’ deaths:
“I wouldn’t blame her. I just want to know what happened. What was in her system? I need answers to that, so I can know what type of state of mind she was in. This never, ever has been her.”
So tragic. We are holding Monica’s loved ones close in our hearts — especially her poor young daughter. Rest in peace.