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Murder-suicide prompts mental-health questions
EAST GREENBUSH -- Police said Tuesday, that Angela Mtambu, killed herself and her two daughters inside their East Greenbush home. The incident has some asking if this could have been prevented.
The East Greenbush Police Chief said that Social Services in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania took Angela Mtambu into custody after an Amber Alert in June. He said a family member called police and said Mtambu was on her way to East Greenbush and wanted to die with her daughters, in the home her son committed suicide in. Police said that suicide happened in April. The Chief said that Mtambu was released 20 days later and that Rensselaer County Social Services followed up once Mtambu returned home. He said that no court orders or protection orders were put in place at that time.
CBS6 called both social services offices but was told neither office could talk about any case because of confidentiality. Police said that two adult family members were staying with the family when this happened.
"In terms of screening people it's very, very difficult to predict exactly what people are going to do," said Dr. Rudy Nydegger, a psychologist.
Dr. Nydegger said he didn't treat the mother in this case but did say it is possible for a person in distress to say and do all the right things, convincing professionals and family they're ok. He also said that if someone isn't receiving the right treatment, it could be hard to prevent something like this once their mind is made up. He said often suicidal thoughts are not triggered by just one thing.
"We are talking about someone who has lost a child and who apparently feels so hopeless, so devastated that she can't imagine living any longer," he said.
Local authorities remind the community in the wake of this tragedy that resources are available through the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.