FOX Files: Murder-Suicides Involving Moms Are Preventable

FOX Files
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(KTVI)-The St. Louis area has experienced an unusually high number of murder suicides involving mothers and their young children.  FOX 2 examined the seriousness of depression in women and especially mothers.

Adrienne LaCroix suffered extreme postpartum depression after the birth of her second son.  With her life suddenly spiraling out of control, she feared for herself and her family.  The treatment Adrienne received didn't seem to be helping.  Finally, her mother- in-law found Dr. Diane Sanford on the internet.  Adrienne got the critical help she needed and is doing well today.

Dr. Sanford says as many as nine in ten people have an undiagnosed or under-treated mental condition.

In September, a Jefferson County mother killed her three daughters and then herself.  The children were 11, 10, and 22 months old.  In July, a Glendale mother shot her ten year old son and 8 year old daughter and then herself.  And in March, a Ballwin mother shot her three kids ages 8,6, and 3 at a Bourbon, Missouri campground.

Women at risk of severe postpartum, called postpartum psychosis, are those with a family history of bipolar disorder, depression,  and women without strong family support. The warning signs are extreme problems with sleeping, eating, hygiene, and caring for their children.  Treatment can prevent women from harming themselves and others. It involves medication, counseling and family support.


Mother to Mother Telephone/Group Support

Mother to Mother provides support and encouragement to women experiencing emotional difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum. Moms are matched with trained phone volunteers that have experienced similar difficulties. In addition, support groups are offered in Creve Coeur, St. Peters and Collinsville, IL. All services are free and available to all women in the state of Missouri and selected parts of Illinois.
Phone: 314-644-7001 or toll-free 877-644-7001. Website:

Diane Sanford, Ph.D.
Co-author "Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide." 
For upcoming self-care challenge and self-care tips, visit Dr.Sanford at

Women's Healthcare Partnership
501 N. Lindbergh, Suite 100
St.Louis, MO.
Phone: 314-991-5666


St. Louis Crisis Nursery
The Saint Louis Crisis Nursery is committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and provides emergency intervention, respite care and support to families in crisis.
Crisis Nursery 24-Hour Helpline: 1-314-768-3201 Website: Saint Louis Crisis Nursery

More coverage:
Glendale Murder-Suicide
Jefferson County Murder Suicide
Bourbon, MO Murder Suicide

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