HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A woman is believed to have killed her daughter before killing herself at a Spring-area home, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said the woman and child were found Tuesday by the woman's teenage children at their home on Vernal Glen Circle, which is just west of the North Freeway and just north of Cypresswood Drive. Gonzalez tweeted about the incident around 2:30 p.m. although it's unclear exactly when the bodies were found.
Gonzalez said the teens, a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, were shaken after they found their mother and half-sister dead.
"It's very difficult to see this kind of scene, and having seen it and done it for many years, it never gets easier, especially when young kids are involved," Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzalez, the woman was last seen alive on Monday night before the teens went out. When they got home, they thought their mother had gone to sleep early. They found her dead when they checked on her Tuesday. Authorities said they believe the shootings happened some time while the teens were gone.
Gonzalez said the information is all part of the preliminary investigation, but it appears as if the woman was having marital problems with the father of the child that was found dead. Gonzalez said they were legally married but had been separated since October. The father travels for work and was not at the scene Tuesday afternoon but Gonzalez said he did visit sometimes, although he was not in the picture every day.
According to Gonzalez, the woman had been dealing with depression for several months and had been struggling with the separation.
"Just a heartbreaking and tragic situation," Gonzalez said. "Depression is a real thing."
According to Gonzalez, decorations from the girl's 6th birthday were still in the house.
It's unclear who owns the gun that was used in the shootings. The investigation is ongoing.
Resources for suicide prevention
Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs of suicide and taking them seriously. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you or anyone you know is in need of help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text the lifeline at 741741 or chat online here.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.
You can also reach out to UT Physicians here.