LaShanda Armstrong left a chilling goodbye message on Facebook earlier this week. Minutes later, she drove her minivan into the Hudson River, drowning herself, her 5-year-old son Lance, her 2-year-old son Landon, and her 11-month-old daughter Laianna.
"I'm so sorry everyone forgive me please for what I'm gonna do.... This Is It!!!!" the message read. LaShanda posted the status update on her Facebook page at 7:13 PM on Tuesday from her BlackBerry, according to CBS.
Her fourth child, 10-year-old LaShaun, was also in the van but was able to escape through a window. The lone survivor swam to shore and flagged down a passing car, giving the driver a disturbing account of what had just happened. Yesterday, the 10-year-old went to play as his family tried to keep his mind off the utter horror of Tuesday night.
"Shaun is great, he's coming along," said Angela Gilliam, LaShanda's aunt. "He's doing very good but he's mentioned it, about he will never forget the incident, what happened. And he wishes that he could have told his brothers how to swim," said the boy's great grandmother Pearl Posey.
Police confirmed LaShanda loaded her four children into the family minivan Tuesday night and intentionally drove it into the Hudson River. "Before she went into the water, she managed to get into the backseat and held all the kids at once and said, 'If we’re going to die, we're going to die together'," said Good Samaritan Meave Ryan.
LaShanda's relatives say she was suffering from paranoia before the tragedy. "She was talking to me about how she felt someone was watching her, she felt like there was pages of her diary missing the lights in her house were flickering on and off," said Darice Armstrong, LaShanda's sister.
"I'm still hurting. I will be forever hurting for the rest of my life," said Datrice Armstrong, LaShanda's mother. "I can't hear nothing no more from them. I can't see them no more. I can't hold them no more. I can't do none of that. Question is we'll never know or understand why, but all I'm just saying is just pray with us while we go through this difficult time."