Investigation into family tragedy goes on

August 10, 2011 6:32:26 PM PDT
Tragedy unfolded last night in northwest Harris County. Two young children are dead, allegedly killed by their mother who tried to end her own life as well. That mother remains hospitalized from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Authorities say Rebekah Sanders killed her 3-year-old son, Gabriel Sanders, and five-year-old daughter, Gabrielle Woods, on Tuesday at a home on Sandy Path Lane near Langham Mist. The children were reportedly found clothed and in the same room as their mother.

Investigators say Sanders had been despondent for some time, as is apparent in posts to her Facebook account. On July 13 at 6:30pm she wrote, "another crappy day in my world." Ten days later near midnight, she posted "it sucks when your own family doesn't even have time for you." And on July 24 in the middle of the day, she wrote that she "has officially stopped caring."

Then less than 72 hours before the crimes she's accused of committing, Rebekah Sanders posted to her Facebook account "time is winding down." A day earlier she posted that she was "feeling really discouraged." And eight days earlier -- just after midnight -- she admitted that she was "trying to dig myself out of this dark hole."

Investigators don't know yet know what caused the depression but say they found several notes inside the home.

Residents in this the neighborhood where Sanders lives say the crime scene tape seems out of place.

"We were very surprised when we can home and saw all this," said neighbor Stephanie Dooly.

Dooly is one of many neighbors who told us this home especially, was quiet. Sanders and her two kids had just moved in this summer, and had yet to really get to know a lot of families on the block.

"Just as they were coming and going is all I saw of them," said Dooly.

"Just say hello in passing, just normal neighbor talk," said neighbor Jessica Lavendr-Cole.

Last night, a family friend discovered the children dead, and Sanders with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The neighbors next to her in the duplex didn't hear anything.

"We're shocked like all the other neighbors," said Lavendr-Cole.

"It was a rough night, knowing everything that everything that happened and with our daughter in the house," said neighbor Adrian Cole. "It was hard to get some sleep."

It was that same feeling which brought Manuel Moultrie over to check on his grandchildren.

"It's sad because I'm a parent," he said. "I have quite a few kids, so anything that would happen to kids is something that gets me."

He's heartbroken over what he'll have to tell the kids about what happened just a few doors down.

"Things happen the way. God has a plan for them. (Tell them) your little friends have gone some place, probably somewhere better than they were right now and explain to them, they probably won't see them again," he said.

Sanders is currently at Memorial Hermann Hospital on a ventilator. She is expected to survive.

As for the children, they were not shot and at this time, there is no obvious cause of death, but investigators are confident that Sanders did kill them. An autopsy is being performed to determine their cause of death.

Meanwhile, Alejandra Posada is director of education and training at Mental Health America of Greater Houston, says social media is often the only place where a person in pain feels comfortable enough to express their true feelings. If you suspect a friend is crying out for help, express concern, don't be judgmental and encourage them to seek professional help from the following agencies:

Mental Health America of Greater Houston
Pro Bono Counseling Program

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio

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