Published June 18, 2019
Searchers pulled the bodies of a woman and her 9-year-old twin daughters from the water after she intentionally drove a car carrying them into a southwestern Michigan river, authorities said Tuesday.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas said two other girls had been in the car but were let out before it was driven into the water. Those girls told officers late Monday that a family member had driven a car into the Kalamazoo River. Their relationship to the woman was not immediately clear.
Officers found the submerged car at Verburg Park. Thomas said they initially found the 44-year-old woman's body and one child's body on Monday night, and the other child's body was found Tuesday morning following a search.
"This is just a tragedy," Thomas said. "This is just a tragedy for our community."
Thomas said investigators were trying to determine why the woman drove into the water. They also were working to determine a precise timeline leading up to that point, and who else may have been in contact with the woman.
"It's a question here in Kalamazoo that we're all asking," she said of the possible reason behind the deaths. "We don't have an answer."
Names of those involved weren't immediately released.
This story has been corrected to indicate that Thomas is the public safety chief, not the assistant chief.