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Mom Who Found Kids Hanged Charged With Their Murders

Lisa Snyder was charged on Monday in deaths of 8- and 4-year-olds
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2019 12:34 PM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2019 1:51 PM CST

(Newser) – The story, as Lisa Rachelle Snyder told it, was horrifying: The Pennsylvania mother called 911 on Sept. 23, saying that only minutes before she had discovered her two young children hanging from a support beam in the basement of their Albany Township home. She referenced her 8-year-old son, Conner, having been bullied and threatening suicide, and said he had told her he "didn't want to go alone." His 4-year-old sister, Brinley, was hanging with him, and the two died three days later. Now, a horrifying twist: Snyder was on Monday charged in their deaths, with the 36-year-old hit with counts of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, and tampering with evidence, among other charges, reports the Morning Call. What's known:

  • The paper cites a news release from the Lehigh County Coroner’s office that states the children died from hanging and those deaths were ruled a homicide.
  • Snyder allegedly Googled a variety of terms around death in the week before the deaths, among them, "carbon monoxide in car how long to die," reports the Reading Eagle. Other alleged searches included "I almost got away with it best episodes" and "hanging yourself"; the latter search happened on Sept. 22, per court records, and resulted in a visit to a website on the topic.

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  • A person identified as "Witness 2" provided Conner with occupational therapy at school due to some shortcomings in his motor skills and dexterity and twice sat for police interviews. The therapist was shown the type of dog lead the children were found hanging from and indicated the clasp would have been difficult for him to operate.
  • A person identified as "Witness 3" who lived in the home commented on Snyder's story that the children had asked to build a fort in the basement using the newly purchased dog lead, saying they essentially never played there and that Conner never spoke of being bullied or suicidal. WPVI reports an older sibling lived in the home.
  • One more piece of evidence: Bus security footage that shows Conner exhibiting "no signs of distress." Snyder had told police the bullying happened on the bus.
  • In a Monday afternoon news conference, Berks County DA John Adams said Snyder did not return to the basement once the paramedics arrived following her 911 call and showed "little to no emotion" when she was ultimately arrested. The Morning Call reports Adams also said Snyder allegedly told a friend she was "depressed and didn't care about her kids."
  • Snyder was also charged with animal cruelty and sexual intercourse with a dog. The Eagle reports Snyder allegedly sent Facebook messages containing photos depicting sexual acts with a black and white dog. On Sept. 19, she wrote "You'll hopefully see Sunday," though noted she was struggling to find a sitter.
(Read more murder stories.)

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