The Washington state based psychologist, 55, shot dead her seven-year-old twin daughters while they slept on Friday night
Michele Boudreau Deegan then turned the gun on herself in murder-suicide amid a protracted divorce with her ex
Deputies performing a welfare check at the family’s home in Sudden Valley, Washington on Saturday discovered the bodies
Police said Deegan had been embroiled in a custody dispute over the girls and that likely was the motive behind the double homicide-suicide
Deegan, a psychotherapist, posted several articles about ‘narcissist parents’ on her Facebook page hours before the shootings
Friends said Deegan adored her children but suffered from mental health issues
Neighbors who had alerted Child Welfare Services in the past with concerns for the twins, described the mother as a ‘troubled’ person
A 55-year-old psychologist in Washington state, Friday shot dead twin daughters while they slept before turning the gun on herself, police say.
The tragic murder-suicide unfolded on Friday night in Sudden Valley, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies performing a welfare check at the family’s home discovered the bodies of Michele Boudreau Deegan and her her seven-year-old daughters. Deputies responded around 1:15 p.m. Saturday to do a welfare check on a home after a roommate in the multi-level house said that he found his landlord and her two children dead in an upstairs bedroom.
Investigators said Deegan killed her daughters while they slept on Friday night.
An initial investigation revealed that Deegan had been embroiled in a bitter custody dispute over the children with her ex. Authorities believed that was her primary motive in the shootings.
Deegan worked as a psychotherapist, according to her website.
The front page of the site reads: ‘My goal is to teach clients new ways of perceiving their problem, healthy coping behaviors for responding to their problem, and healthy attitudes & communication skills for working with their families, partners, or work environment so they can make changes in their own life.’
On the day of the shootings, Deegan shared a number of articles about ‘narcissists’ on both her professional and personal social media pages – Several related to parenting. A few other posts discussed how people in relationships with narcissists can be driven to suicide.
Addressing the incident Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said, “It’s a real tragic situation that we’re still investigating, trying to get more information on what might have motivated someone to do something this horrific.”
Those who knew the mother described her as ‘deeply troubled’. At a point they had contacted child welfare authorities with concerns about the twins they told KIRO 7.
Some of the neighbors revealed that the twins were rarely seen outside their home: “‘Really right now, I’m just in shock I can’t believe this happened,” one neighbor said.
Deegan had been embroiled in a custody dispute over the children, investigators said. Deputies performing a welfare check at the family’s home discovered the bodies on Saturday afternoon.
One of Deegan’s friends reacted to the news in a Facebook post, saying that she was ‘mentally ill’.
‘Michelle was a wonderful woman….she HAD TO HAVE BEEN trying (in an absolutely sick, unimaginably twisted way, obviously) to “protect” the girls from a life with their dad without her,’ the friend wrote.
‘She was a kind and warm friend, bright and empathetic, a psychologist with a local practice that helped so many people, including me, and my daughter.’
The friend confirmed that Deegan was in a ‘horrific custody battle, with a man she had a domestic violence protection order against’.
‘Every time she believed her divorce was almost final, she would be dragged into a new frivolous and expensive renegotiation,’ she wrote.
‘She had been bankrupted by litigation, right or wrong, she worried for her girls with their dad…..(the sad irony is not lost on me)……this was a mental health tragedy, not a terrible person.’
The friend concluded: ‘I just really want everyone to know that Michelle did NOT abuse the girls, she loved them. She was just sick….and scared.’