The distraught Newburgh mother who drove her van into the Hudson River Tuesday night, killing herself and three of her four children, left a chilling suicide message on Facebook and had been in the midst of a breakdown over domestic strife.
“I’m sorry everyone forgive me please for what I’m gonna do. . . This is it!!!!” Lashanda Armstrong, 25, posted shortly before she drove her black mini-van into the Hudson river, killing herself and Landon Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and 11-month old Lainaina Pierre. MidHudsonNews.com, obtained access to Armstrong’s Facebook page, which is private, and posted the entry on its site.
Her oldest son, Lashaun Armstrong, 10, managed to escape by opening a window, swimming to safety, and flagging down a passing car.
Relatives and acquaintances said Armstrong was distressed by the cheating of the father of the three murdered children, Jean Pierre, 26. They also suggested she was possibly descending into mental illness. Armstrong’s sister, Darice Armstrong told NBC’s “Today” show that Armstrong felt “someone was watching her,” and that the lights in her home kept flickering on and off.
According to reports Thursday, Pierre was charged with child endangerment in February when Lance Pierre was found wandering the streets in the middle of the night.
Armstrong’s aunt, Angela Gilliam, directed police to Armstrong's home Tuesday because she thought she overheard Pierre and Armstrong in a heated dispute during a phone call.
Gilliam suspected Armstrong was in the midst of an altercation with Pierre, who reportedly had an affair with a neighbor during Armstrong’s last pregnancy and had a tumultuous relationship with the troubled mom.
Police arrived, but the house was empty; Armstrong was apparently already en route to the river.
Lashaun is reportedly staying with Gilliam.