MEDFORD (WAOW) – A Rib Lake mother told investigators she tried to kill herself and four of her children so she could "be in heaven" with them because she didn't think they could handle an upcoming divorce, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
Heidi Mann, 37, was charged with four counts of attempted first-degree homicide of children ranging in age from three to 11. The incident took place at her home March 8, the complaint said.
Mann said she loaded the children into a sports utility vehicle parked in a garage and planned on poisoning them and herself by starting the vehicle and filling the garage with carbon monoxide, the complaint said.
"Heidi stated that she just felt peaceful and felt like she was doing the right thing on that day," the complaint said. "Heidi made the comment that she just wanted to die and be in heaven with her four youngest children."
Mann told investigators that she felt that she had no "good options" in what she could do regarding the children and the divorce, the complaint said.
She told investigators she let the vehicle run for about two hours and then stopped but she was unsure why, other than one of the children had fallen asleep but she saw he was still breathing, the complaint said.
The mother told investigators that she decided to let two older sons live because she knew they would be OK and could deal with issues of the family breaking up, the complaint said.
She said she wrote a letter to the boys and left a letter for her grandmother "explaining everything," the complaint said.
According to the complaint, police became aware of the incident in the garage from a report from a psychiatric facility associated with St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Appleton, the complaint said. Doctors there learned of the incident June 7, the complaint said.
Mann is to make her first appearance in Taylor County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
The maximum punishment for each attempted homicide count is 60 years in prison.
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