A mother killed her three-month-old baby, shot her husband then turned the gun on herself, investigators believe.
Mary Jo Trokey, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, may have been suffering from postpartum psychosis when she murdered husband Matthew Trokey, 33, and their daughter Taylor Rose Trokey, before killing herself last week, police say.
Postpartum psychosis, a disorder which can be triggered by childbirth, is known to cause delusional and irrational behavior, and in rare cases, can even cause the mother to harm her child.
The trio were found dead from gunshot wounds after a concerned family member went round to check on them after they hadn’t heard from the Trokeys.
Mary Jo Trokey, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, may have been suffering from postpartum psychosis when she murdered husband Matthew Trokey, 33, and their daughter Taylor Rose Trokey,(pictured at their baby’s baptism in December)
The trio were found dead from gunshot wounds after a concerned family member went round to check on them after they hadn’t heard from the Trokeys
They immediately alerted the police to the grisly scene.
A law enforcement source told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Mary Jo appears to have bought a gun shortly before the murder-suicide which occurred either late Thursday or early Friday last week.
The news shocked the small St Vincent community in St Louis hills.
Neighbors described the Trokeys as ‘the perfect family’.
Police surround the St. Louis, Missouri, home of the Trokeys after a family friend made the grisly discovery
Officers taped off the family home while investigators remained on the scene of the murder suicide
The news shocked the small St Vincent community in St Louis hills. Neighbors described the Trokeys as ‘the perfect family’
“It’s a shame,’ neighbor Frank Cantone told KDSK. ‘That’s tragic, especially when you have an infant involved. We’ve waved at them, said hello.”
Family pastor Bob Reiker, who baptized Taylor Rose at the St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in December, was stunned by the news.
He described the family as friendly, ‘stable’ and active in their local church community.
‘It’s hard to imagine what happened,’ he said. ‘People are baffled by it. It’s inexplicable how someone could do this to themselves, let alone their little girl.’
‘[They] seemed like a very stable, Catholic couple,’ he continued. ‘You would never suspect there were any problems that would lead to something like this.’
What is Postpartum Psychosis?
Postpartum Psychosis (PP) affects one in every 1,000 new mothers.
It most commonly occurs during the first few weeks after having a baby.
The four main symptoms associated with a psychotic episode are: hallucinations, delusions, confused and disturbed thoughts and lack of insight and self-awareness.
Symptoms of postnatal psychosis can also include: a high mood (mania) – for example, talking and thinking too much or too quickly or a low mood – for example, depression, lack of energy, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.
Postnatal psychosis is more likely to affect women who already have a mental health condition, such as bipolar.
Contact your doctor immediately if you think that someone you know may have developed postnatal psychosis.
The Trokeys had been attending St. Raphael for about two years and a December church newsletter had congratulated the couple on the December 17 baptism of their daughter.
The St. Louis police department confirmed that the investigation was ongoing.
Postpartum depression is relatively common in new mothers. Yet postpartum psychosis, is much rarer – about one in every 1,000 – and is much more serious.
Sufferers can experience hallucinations or paranoid delusions.
It is viewed as a medical emergency by doctors that needs immediate treatment.
Friends and family described the couple as nice, stable, Catholic family
Often the issue is, that the mother does not realize she is acting irrationally, Erin Poniewaz, a therapist at Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, told the St Louis Post Dispatch.
‘When you’re not sleeping, your mind plays tricks on you, and you can lose your footing really quickly,’ Poniewaz said.
‘Usually the first indication that it’s anxiety is when she’s distraught by it … she recognizes this is not typical or healthy.’
It is very unusual for a woman to become violent while experiencing postpartum psychosis, they can feel they unconnected with their child, or like the kid would be better off without them.
In 2012, three mothers from the St. Louis area killed their children and themselves in separate incidents