DCF report released on Palm Bay woman accused of killing children

Report: Jessica McCarty 'attempted suicide two times in the past'


PALM BAY, Fla. – A report from the Department of Children and Families says in 2009 Jessica McCarty, the mother accused of killing her three children Friday in Palm Bay, took sleeping pills and tried to commit suicide.

McCarty's mugshot from Friday's crime shows self-inflicted wounds on her neck and arms, cut by a butcher knife that police found in her hand at the front of her home, where they said she killed Laci, 7, Philip, 6, and 5-month-old Christopher.

[MORE: Mom faces murder charges in kids' death]

Local 6 learned the tragic end came after years of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Back in 2009, McCarty's mother told investigators she had been "diagnosed with depression" and she had "attempted suicide two times in the past."

DCF officials said they decided her suicide attempt was an "intermediate" safety risk for her children and made her enroll in an at-risk day care, see a counselor, stop using prescription drugs, and told her about drowning prevention.

But reports show that her drug abuse continued until as recently as 2013, and brushes with the law triggered previous threats of suicide.

It's unclear what caused her latest emotional dip that ended with her two boys strangled and daughter drowned in the bathtub.

An entire community gathered Monday night to remember the three children allegedly killed at the hands of their own mother.

[RELATED: Vigil held for 3 slain children]

"The thought of these helpless innocent children struggling for their lives is just simply gut-wrenching," said Palm Bay Police Chief Mark Renkens. "As a father of two, myself, it's simply unimaginable."

McCarty is scheduled to go before a grand jury on April 8