Updated at 6:02 p.m. Tuesday: Revised to include new details.
Frisco’s mother who was found dead last month in her SUV with her three children alive by her side committed suicide by overdosing on allergy medication, according to the Collin County medical examiner.
Christine Thi Woo’s diphenhydramine overdose – an active ingredient in Benadryl and a sleeping pill – was intentional, according to an autopsy report obtained by
The autopsy revealed that Woo’s body was decomposing in the car.
Frisco Police said Woo had no deliberate plans to harm his three children.
But Lauren Woo, 5, Nathan Woo, 3, and Leah Woo, 1, were taken to hospital for assessment and reportedly suffered from rashes and dehydration, police said.
Woo, 39, was found in her 2011 Honda Pilot in a McKinney SuperTarget lot on March 31, three days after she was last seen by her husband.
Brandon Woo called the police to report his family missing on March 29, the day after their disappearance. Woo later said he did not immediately call the police because he mistakenly believed he had to wait 24 hours to file a missing person report.
This Monday morning, Christine Woo visited a Walgreens near her home and was seen three hours later at a McDonald’s with her children.
Woo bought sleeping pills from the drugstore, KTVT-TV (Channel 11) reported.
Because child protection services are involved in the case, Frisco police said they would not disclose any further details.
CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said the children are not in foster care, but could not provide further details on the agency’s involvement.
The Woo family moved to Frisco from San Antonio last year. They spent their Saturdays at a children’s music school in Frisco, accompanying their children to lessons.
But recently, the family’s presence at 7 Notes had stopped, asking to “take a break” or skip classes altogether, said Chardé Carbonell, the school principal’s executive assistant.
“She seemed overwhelmed,” Carbonell said.
Editor Julieta Chiquillo contributed to this report.
Warning signs of suicide
Experts from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention say there is no single cause of suicide, as it stems from a complex mental health problem. However, depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. Relatives should be aware of these warning signs:
- How they speak: A person can talk about suicide or having no reason to live. They can describe the feeling of being trapped or as a burden on others.
- Behviour: Look for an increase in drug or alcohol use, whether the person is looking for ways to kill themselves, is acting recklessly, withdrawing and isolating themselves, sleeping too much or too little, or donating property.
- Mood: A person contemplating suicide often displays one or more of the following moods: depression, loss of interest, rage, irritability, humiliation, or anxiety.
Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
More information can be found at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which operates a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).