Mother who drove car into river with children sought help for depression, sister says — (Michigan Live)

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Michigan Live

Updated: Jun. 19, 2019, 7:33 p.m.|Published: Jun. 19, 2019, 7:06 p.m.

By Dylan Goetz |

KALAMAZOO, MI — Ineza McClinton and her two twin daughters will not be forgotten after three bodies were found in the Kalamazoo River Tuesday, sister Jeanette McClinton said.

“They will live on — through all of us,” Jeanette McClinton said.

Ineza McClinton, 44, and her twin 9-year-old daughters, Faith and Angel, were all inside a black sedan when McClinton intentionally drove the car into the river Monday night, according to police.

Mother, twin daughters dead after car driven into Kalamazoo River

Kalamazoo police confirmed the third death on June 18.

Prior to the tragic incident, Ineza sought help for depression at a mental health facility in Grand Rapids, her sister said. Ineza stopped receiving treatment after three days, she said.

“Apparently, she was holding stuff in,” Jeanette McClinton said. “My sister was always worried about other people before herself. She would take on other people’s problems and help as much as she could.

“When people put a lot on you, and she already had a lot on her plate, all that stuff festered.”

Friends and family left teddy bears and flowers at the Verburg Park boat launch after hearing about the incident. Jeanette McClinton visited the memorial with her family after work Wednesday, June 19.

Neighbors stunned after mother drives two children into river

Ineza McClinton and her two daughters, Faith and Angel, died.

Jeanette McClinton believes depression pushed her sister over the edge. She was with Ineza just hours before the car was driven into the river on June 17. Her sister seemed distant, she said.

“I was just trying to make her laugh,” McClinton said. “I went home and went to sleep. I was awoken by my son who said the phone was ringing … my mom said that there has been an accident with my sister.”

She received the call from her mother around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The family rushed to Verburg Park and spent the rest of the day waiting for more information.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas explained what investigators know about the circumstances surrounding the three deaths Tuesday, June 18. Thomas called it a tragedy for the whole community.

The car went to the river around 11 p.m. Monday, police said. Two other children inside the car, Ineza’s granddaughters who were 9 and 3 years old, were let out of the vehicle before it went into the river, police said.

A passing motorist saw the children walking near the corner of Walbridge and East Paterson streets, Jeanette McClinton said. The driver pulled over and helped the children contact a family member, who contacted police.

The car was pulled out of the river Tuesday morning, and the bodies of the mother and two children were recovered by police. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Thomas stopped short of calling the incident a murder-suicide, saying only that investigators believe McClinton intentionally drove the vehicle into the river.

Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide can get help from the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Locally, Gryphon Place offers a 24-hour HELP line at 269-381-HELP (4357) for anyone who may feel desperate, overwhelmed, emotional or hopeless.

Mom drove car into river with her 2 children inside, Kalamazoo police say

Kalamazoo police have recovered two bodies and are looking for a third after a mother drove her car into the Kalamazoo River.

Neighbors of Ineza McClinton and the twin girls, who lived in Southeast Grand Rapids, remembered the girls as happy children who were frequently seen riding their bicycles.

Jeanette McClinton said the girls will be missed by the family.

“Angel and Faith were bright, always smiling and energetic,” she said. “Two eager, smart little girls.

“They won’t ever be forgotten.”