Nurse accused of killing daughter, 2 1/2, charged — (Star Tribune)

SSRI Ed note: Nurse on antidepressants decides that she "has to die", kills her little girl and attempts suicide but survives. Charged with 3nd degree murder.

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Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities

January 12, 1994

Author: Mark Brunswick; Staff Writer

Christine Olson, the nurse accused of killing her 2 1/2-year-old daughter and then trying to take her own life, told hospital workers that she thought her estranged husband was incapable of caring for their daughter, and that since she was going to commit suicide, she decided to kill her daughter as well.

But Olson, 25, survived. She was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Megan. They were discovered Sunday on a bed in their Columbia Heights home.

Hospital records indicate that Olson had come to the conclusion Friday that she “had to die” and that she was going to kill Megan to keep her from her father, according to a complaint filed in Anoka County District Court yesterday. Olson told doctors that she had given her daughter medication to make her sleep and then put a pillow over her face. When Megan stopped breathing, Olson went to bed with her and took an overdose of pills. She awoke Saturday or Sunday and began cutting herself with a kitchen knife, the complaint said.

Megan had been dead for some time when police arrived Sunday afternoon at the house in the 4000 block of NE. 4th St. Olson was lying next to her bleeding with two kitchen knives on the bed.

According to the complaint, Olson spoke to a man described as her boyfriend on Friday and told him she was breaking off their relationship. She also told him that she had left her job as a nurse at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and was not planning to return.

“She stated that she was sick of everyone around her, that she needed time to think over the weekend about what she needed to do, and needed to make decisions about her life,” the complaint said.

The man asked police to check on Olson on Saturday. When officers arrived, her car was in the driveway and the door to the house was locked.

Police returned Sunday and were able to enter the house. Olson was taken to Unity Hospital Health One in Fridley, where she spoke with her sister, the complaint said. Her sister told police that Olson had been taking antidepressant medication. Olson told her sister that she did not want to live anymore and did not want her estranged husband to have custody of Megan.

Olson was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Assistant Anoka County Attorney Kristin Day said prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury for possible first-degree murder indictments on Jan. 25.

Record Number: 641939
Copyright (c) 1994, 2001 Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities