Charges filed in mother-daughter suicide pact

Neighbor alerted police after finding note
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 00:03:08-04

A Greeley mother faces charges of attempted manslaughter after police say she made a suicide pact with her daughter. 

A neighbor alerted police after finding their suicide note.

Both mother and daughter survived.

"It's kind of sad and scary at the same time," said Teaddie Dockery, the neighbor who found the note in her mailbox instructing her to call police. “I’m just glad they are OK.”

Denver7 is not naming the mother to protect the identity of her teenage daughter, but a background check showed she has an extensive criminal history, including felony theft and forgery.

The arrest affidavit states the teenager told police the suicide pact was her idea, and they had been planning for about a month.

She stated her mother had just been laid off from work and “they were both sad, they were both done with life and didn’t want to put pain on one another.”

The affidavit states the mother and daughter decided to have “the best day ever,” getting their nails done, watching movies and then taking a dangerous combination of pills.

They waited until the day her mother could get her prescription medication refilled.

"If you either assist or coerce another person to commit suicide, you have committed the crime of manslaughter," said Michael Rourke, the Weld County District Attorney, who said the teenage daughter is now safe.

Rourke plans to prosecute the mother for attempted manslaughter.

"Suicide pacts in general are relatively rare. We don't have a ton of research on them," said Jarrod Hindman, head of the state’s Office of Suicide Prevention.

“When we hear about suicide pacts, it’s usually adolescents clusters or packs of suicide deaths. Typically, it’s a group of people who for whatever reason have come together around a shared experience of trauma or a mental health crisis or something has happened,” said Hindman. 

But he also noted this rare case is a reminder of the need to reach out, especially in Colorado.

“Colorado, we just geographically find ourselves in a part of the country where suicide rates are the highest,” said Hindman. “So it behooves us to know what to look for how to intervene and help people who may be struggling.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).