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Police investigate murder-suicide in East Greenbush
EAST GREENBUSH -- Police are investigating after they said a mother killed herself and her two daughters inside their East Greenbush home early Tuesday.
Police said they were called to 58 Rockrose Drive at about 1:45 Tuesday morning. They said they broke into a first floor bedroom and found cylinders of compressed Nitrogen gas that were open, releasing the gas into the room. They say first responders tried to save the three victims, using CPR, but said all three were confirmed dead at Albany Medical Center. Authopsie results confirmed that all three died from asphyxia due to inhalation of nitrogen gas.
Police said Angela Mtambu, 47, was the mother. They said that her daughters Eudora Thurston, 6, and Callidora Thurston, 9, were also killed.
"They're beautiful kids you know," said Bernard Pamberi, the girl's uncle.
Pamberi told CBS6 that there were no signs on Monday indicating that he and his older brother would wake up to such a tragedy.
He told CBS6 that he spent the day with his sister, Mtambu, and her two daughters. He said they went to dinner, ate some ice cream and played games. He said they all went to be around 10:30 Monday evening.
"He actually woke me up because he had heard some hissing sounds," said Pamberi. "So we went downstairs and we knocked on the door and she could not answer."
Pamberi and his brother called 911.
"When the first responders broke into the bedroom - they encountered a very high concentration of an unknown gas," said East Greenbush Police Chief Christopher Lavin.
Police now say the gas was compressed Nitrogen.
The Police Chief said this is not the first time officials have come in contact with the family.
He said that police responded to the home on April 1st when Mtambu's 23-year-old son Mitchell Gwatida, committed suicide.
On June 1st, the Police Chief said an Amber Alert was issued because a family member had called and said Mtambu was on her way to East Greenbush and wanted to die with her children in the same East Greenbush home. The Police Chief said police in Pennsylvania Police intercepted the family and Mtambu was taken for an evaluation by social services there.
The Police Chief said Mtambu was in psychiatric confinement in Harrisburg, PA for 20 days. He said a social services representative from Rensselaer County followed up when she returned home, but no court orders or orders of protection were placed at the time.
Police said that on June 27th, Mtambu was reunited with her children and two adult relatives.
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.