PHILADELPHIA - Authorities have arrested and charged a mother in the deaths of her two children in Berks County.
Lisa R. Snyder faces two counts of first and third-degree murder and endangering the welfare of children in the deaths of Conner Snyder, 8, and Brinley Snyder, 4.
The children were found hanging in the basement of their family’s home.
During Monday’s press conference, District Attorney John T. Adams revealed timelines from the investigation preceding the deaths of the children.
Timeline of events according to investigators:
– Sept. 17, 2019: Lisa Snyder begins researching methods of homicide/suicide.
– Sept. 22, 2019: Lisa Snyder orders the cable dog leash online.
– Sept. 23, 2019: 9:30 a.m., Lisa Snyder picks up the cable dog leash from the Walmart in Hamburg.
4:30 p.m.: 911 receives a report that two children were found hanging and unresponsive in the basement by Lisa Snyder.
Approximately 11 minutes later: Emergency services arrived and found the children hanging from a single wire cable dog leash. The wire was wrapped around the main support beam of the basement and the victims’ necks.
Near the victims, two wooden bar-height wooden chairs which had been knocked on their sides.
Both children were in full cardiac arrest and were resuscitated.
The children were then taken to a hospital for medical intervention.
– Sept. 26, 2019: Connor and Brinley Snyder were removed from life support and pronounced dead.
Google records indicate the following searches on Lisa Snyder’s account:
– Sept. 17, 2019: “Carbon Monoxide in a car, how long to die”
– Sept. 20, 2019: Almost Got Away with It" -- best episodes
– Sept. 22, 2019: Hanging yourself
– Sept. 22, 2019: Visited a website called “short drop”, simple suspension, lost all hopes – which prescribes an effective way to hang a person using a short drop, simple suspension.
Sept. 23, 2019: Does a hybrid car produce carbon monoxide?
Facebook records indicated photos and conversations about Lisa Snyder engaged in sexual acts with a dog.
In the initial search of the home, authorities recovered the dog lead cable, the cellphone on which Lisa Snyder placed the 911 call, two apple iPads, and one laptop.
Officials have yet to recover a Samsung Galaxy Note, which they believe was the phone used to place the order for the dog leash. It was lost the day of the incident, according to authorities.
Lisa R. Snyder was interviewed twice by authorities before her arrest on Monday. Initially, she stated that her son had been bullied in school and had expressed a desire to take his own life.
Investigators say during interviews with witnesses contradicted Snyder’s claims about Conner having any suicidal tendencies and refuted that Conner had ever been bullied.
Another witness said that Snyder indicated that she was depressed and no longer cared about her children.
Authorities say Snyder stated that Conner wanted to go into the basement to “play fort” and he had taken the dog lead and chairs downstairs. According to Snyder, Conner had also asked his sister to go downstairs.
Reportedly, Snyder told police that the kids played downstairs regularly.
However, in interviews with the Pennsylvania State Police, a witness explained that the children were terrified of the basement and did not normally play in the basement.
An occupational therapist, employed by the Kutztown School District, was also interviewed by authorities.
The occupational therapist revealed that it would have been extremely difficult for Conner to operate the clasp of the dog leash or to wrap the dog leash due to his “poor dexterity.”
Conner had disabilities that made it difficult for him to perform tasks such as tying his shoes.
Previously, the Snyder children had been removed from the family’s home in 2014 by Children and Youth Services (CYS).
They were returned in February 2015. Children Protective Services had been involved with the family until Nov. 2015.
Snyder has also been charged tampering with evidence and animal cruelty including sexual intercourse with an animal.
As a result of the first-degree murder charges, Snyder is not eligible for bail.
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