Postpartum Depression May Be a Factor In Car Chase and Shooting On Capitol Hill

Miriam Carey in a photo from her employer's website.
Miriam Carey in a photo from her employer’s website.

A mother was shot and killed by police yesterday after allegedly ramming into barricades near the White House then leading police on a chase down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the U.S. Capitol building with her 1-year-old daughter sitting behind her in the car. The toddler was hospitalized after the incident and is said to be okay. No weapons were found in the car.

Today we’re learning more about the woman authorities have identified as Miriam Carey, 34, and what may have caused her to do such a thing with her child in the car.

As The Washington Post reports, Carey lived in Connecticut and worked as a dental hygienist. After Carey was identified police surrounded her Stamford home as part of their investigation.

ABC News is reporting that postpartum depression may have played a role in Carey’s decision to use her car as a weapon with her daughter inside. Carey’s mom, Idella Carey, tells ABC her daughter has had a difficult time after giving birth to her baby Erica, the toddler in the car. “She had post-partum depression after having the baby…A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed. … She was hospitalized.”

Carey’s mother goes on to say her daughter has no history of violence and that she has no idea why she was in Washington, D.C. as she thought Carey was taking Erica to a doctor’s appointment in Connecticut.

When contacted by The Washington Post, Carey’s sister, Amy Carey, couldn’t believe her sister was responsible. “That’s impossible. She works, she holds a job…She wouldn’t be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her. .”‰.”‰. I don’t know what’s happening. I can’t answer any more.”

Friends and co-workers of Carey also seem shocked, calling her a “friendly” and “nurturing” person. Angela Windley went to college with Carey and calls her a sweet person that was never political, so she doesn’t understand what she was doing in D.C. either.

Also today, dramatic footage shot by a reporter who was interviewing protesters near the White House when the chase began has been released. The video shows a young child believed to be Carey’s, being carried by an officer to the back of a patrol car. The video is hard to watch when you know a toddler is sitting inside the car.

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If postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis is determined to be responsible for Carey’s actions, hopefully this tragic incident can shine an even brighter spotlight on just how devastating the illness can be. If you’re having trouble since giving birth, don’t ignore your symptoms. You can get help and start feeling better very quickly! If you believe you are suffering from postpartum depression there are so many resources and people that want to help you. Check out Katherine Stone’s very excellent and informative website, Postpartum Progress, for more information.

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