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Family Trying To Make Sense Of The Senseless After Mother Kills Her Three Children

Thu, April 14, 2011 3:35pm EDT by 1 Comment

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LaShanda Armstrong’s siblings open up to the Today show about their sister’s heartbreaking murder-suicide.

Her family says she was generally a happy and cheerful person, but all that seems different now after LaShanda Armstrong killed herself and her three young children, Landon, 5, Lance, 2, and Lainaina, 11 months, by driving their minivan into the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y. on Tuesday night, April 12. Now her family and friends are searching for answers on what led her to do what she did.

Her siblings, Darice and Lenny Armstrong, started noticing in the last few weeks that LaShanda was clearly unhappy about something. “She was talking to me about how she felt like someone was watching her, she felt like there were pages of her diary missing,” her sister Darice explains to the Today show. “The lights of her house were flickering on and off.”

And what was even more off-putting was the fact that their sister was constantly apologizing to them, and they had no idea why. Now, they realize it was a desperate cry for help.

LaShanda was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute moments before she decided to commit such an unspeakable crime. Her 10-year-old son LaShaun, who escaped from the sinking car through the window and swan to shore, told the women who found him that his mother planned to kill him and his younger siblings.

“The frozen fear on his face, I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life,” Maeve Ryan, the motorist who discovered LaShaun, explains. LaShaun told Maeve that his mother “went into the back seat and held them all together and said ‘If I’m going to die, than you’re going to die with me.'”

And the most devastating part of all is that LaShanda changed her mind seconds after she drove into the river, telling her kids, “I made a mistake.” Sadly, it was too late

Just a heartbreaking and devastating ordeal.

–Leigh Blickley