Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crestline, California: Denise Snyder kills her autistic grandson, 9, then herself

Crestline woman fatally shoots grandson, self

October 19, 2010

CRESTLINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Crestline woman fatally shot her 9-year-old grandson and herself Monday, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's deputies and Crest Forest Fire personnel responded to a report of two people shot at a residence on the 500 block of Springy Path in Crestline Monday.

At about 5:30 p.m., Crestline resident James Snyder discovered his wife and his grandson at the home. They both had gunshot wounds. Officers and paramedics determined both were dead.

A sheriff's dept. homicide team was summoned and began a murder investigation.

Sheriff's detectives assert that Denise Snyder, 50, shot her grandson and then shot herself. The Snyders had custody of their grandson since his birth, according to the department. The grandson was reportedly diagnosed with autism.

"To me, I think she couldn't handle the kid, because it wasn't hers, it was her grandkid," said neighbor Mario Julian. "And we did hear her yelling at him a lot, quite a bit, and figured that was normal."

Julian said he spoke to the husband, who said his wife was taking the prescription drug Oxycontin. According to the husband, she was out of medication and may have suffered a breakdown.

"He's saying that she was taking them like six pills a day," said Julian.

Related Content

link: Autism Speaks - Autism Response Team

"This is a small community, so we're all just freaking out about this," said Crestline resident Stevan Oerlemans. "This just doesn't happen up here."

The investigation was ongoing Tuesday.

Anyone with information related to the case was asked to call homicide detectives at (909) 387-3589 or (800) 78-CRIME.

If you have a child with autism or know someone who does, help is available to get you through those tough times. Call the Autism Response Team at 888-AUTISM2 (288-4762) or send an e-mail to familyservices@autismspeaks.org.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden: 21-year-old hangs self

Young Swedish man commits cyber suicide

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Saying that his life is "simply too hard," a young autistic man committed suicide during a live broadcast on the Internet, police in Sweden say.

Marcus James, 21, hanged himself in his apartment southwest of Stockholm about 20 minutes before police arrived after being tipped off by the public, Sweden's The Local reported Tuesday.

James posted on the popular Internet forum Flashback Monday that he planned to kill himself and would broadcast his suicide live on a Web cam.

He also provided a link with login information to access photos of his hanging and posted his final thoughts on Facebook. He said he loved his family but cannot live for others.

"I have a good life, studying at my own pace, have my own apartment, good income from the regional social insurance office," he wrote. "Have Asperger syndrome/ high-functioning autism."

Police performed CPR when they arrived at his apartment but a spokeswoman said it was too late.

An investigation of the death is under way.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Salmon, Idaho: Seven-Year-Old Drowns

Body of 7-year-old boy found in Salmon River
by Associated Press & KTVB

SALMON, Idaho -- Lemhi County officials say the body of a 7-year-old boy has been found in the Salmon River.
Officials say a resident walking the river bank near Salmon spotted the body at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
Investigators are looking into the case as a possible drowning.
Salmon Police Chief K.V. Selker says the boy has severe autism and his home borders Kids Creek. He says it is likely the boy got out of the backyard and fell into the creek. The creek then feeds into the Salmon River. The boy's body was about a hundred yards from his home.
Detectives sent the boy's body to Idaho Falls for an autopsy. Until that's complete investigators say there are more people to talk to, and the investigation is ongoing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colorado Springs: 13-year-old autistic boy and sibling killed by mother

Essex Lane deaths apparent murder-suicide

A mother apparently shot her two children in their home Monday while her husband was at work, then turned the gun on herself, Colorado Springs police said an autopsy by the El Paso County coroner determined.

The bodies of Rene Ogden, 38, and her twin 13-year-old son and daughter were found in the family’s home at 1941 Essex Lane east of Wasson High School by Tommy Ogden around 3:30 p.m.

Rene Ogden, son Chase and daughter Olivia died of gunshot wounds to the head, the coroner said.

The children’s deaths are the 20th and 21st homicides in Colorado Springs this year.

Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt said the children’s deaths are still under investigation but provided no information on whether a suspect is being sought, if anyone else had been in the house or if more than one weapon was used.

An officer guarding the home Tuesday said there was no sign of a break-in.

Police offered no explanation for the apparent murder-suicide. Neighbors said the son was autistic, although none said they socialized much with the family or knew them well.

Rene Ogden spent a lot of her time on the Internet, corresponding with people through Facebook and playing games on the social networking site, according to people she befriended online.

One of those, Brad Ake, who lives in Texas where Rene Ogden attended high school, said the two often talked about birth defects and raising children with developmental disabilities. Ake’s daughter had severe birth defects and died very young.

Ake and others who chatted with her, said she loved her children, but that she talked about struggling with depression and loneliness.

“She was very sad most of the time,” Ake said in an interview with The Gazette on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, flowers and other mementos were placed at the doorway of the rented home in the neighborhood near Constitution Avenue and Academy Boulevard. Tommy Ogden, who had been questioned by police about the deaths, went inside briefly, then left, a neighbor across the street said.

The family moved to Colorado Springs while her husband was in the Army. Tommy Ogden had served at least one combat tour in Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a former Fort Carson unit now based at Fort Hood, Texas.

In happier times, Rene Ogden had posted the following on Reunion.com:

“About My Personal Life I have been living it up from Hawaii to Colorado with my wonderful husband and kids! We have been married since July of 1996. His name is Tom Ogden, who is now 36, and he has been in the Army for 19 years. We married in Hawaii in July of 1996, where we lived for two more years and then moved here to Colorado Springs in May of 1998. We may end up back in the Golden Triangle Area (in Texas) eventually. It looks like that is where my husband’s job is considering transferring him to. Although right now he is serving one year in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. We have a beautiful set of twins ... Chase Garrett and Olivia Brianna who were born in 1997.”

The children attended Colorado Springs School District 11’s Galileo School of Math and Science on Union Boulevard, where a short assembly was held Tuesday to inform students about the tragedy and to let them know counselors were available for them.

Thursday, a sixth-grade classmate of the twins, accompanied by his mother, Carla Garcia, drove up to the Essex Lane house.

The were staring at the house when they were told about the autopsy results.

“With the wife being here with the autistic kid and the husband deployed, that’s hard on a mother,” Garcia said. “Everybody’s upset about it. There were kids involved. They didn’t do anything to anybody.”

Garcia, who lives near Constitution Avenue and Union Boulevard, said residents in the area also had been worried about their own safety during the past three days.

“We thought there was a killer on the loose,” she said.