Mo. mother suspected in child deaths was depressed

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-area woman suspected of fatally shooting her three daughters and herself suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, according to her family.

Even though Christine Adewunmi was depressed, she was a devoted mother whose children were "the number one priority in her life," her family said in a statement released Monday.

"Christine was battling depression. Family, friends and professionals were supporting her recovery and stood by her side as she coped with the debilitating disease. No one knew the depths of her problem or could ever foresee this tragedy occurring," her family said.

Crawford County Sheriff Randy Martin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Christine Adewunmi killed her daughters — Lauren, 8, Samantha, 6, and Kate, 3 — and then turned the gun on herself at a campground along the Meramec River near the eastern Missouri community of Bourbon.

Their bodies were found on an isolated gravel road Saturday.

Christine's husband, Leonard Adewunmi, reported her missing Friday. In a missing person's report filed with police that day, Leonard Adewunmi said his wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and that he feared she was suicidal, the paper reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/GChTuw ).

He said his wife and children were asleep when he left their west St. Louis County home for work that morning, and that the house was empty when he returned that evening.

Leonard Adewunmi told police his wife had been looking up websites on depression and suicide and that she was recently referred to a hospital for evaluation, the report said.

Adewunmi also told police that his wife had left with the children on two prior occasions and lied about where they went. The children told him that they had been at a house by the water, according to the report.

In its statement, the family requested privacy for Leonard Adewunmi.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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