NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBS 2) — The mother who drowned herself and her three children left a chilling goodbye on Facebook.

Just minutes before LaShanda Armstrong drove her minivan into the Hudson River, she posted a final message – but no one knew what she would do next, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

LaShanda Armstrong’s mother said the last words she heard her daughter speak were an apology for her dark decision.

“She said she was sorry,” Datrice Armstrong said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Family Speaks Out

“I’m so sorry everyone forgive me please for what I’m gonna do…. This Is It!!!!” the message, posted on Armstrong’s Facebook page at 7:13 p.m. Tuesday from a BlackBerry, said.

L-R Laianna and Lance Pierre Armstrong were killed when their mother Lashandra Armstrong drove her minivan into the Hudson River (credit: AP Photo/Youn and Unique Christian Child Care Center)

Less than an hour later, Armstrong drove the minivan, loaded with her four children, into the river.

Relatives of Armstrong said she was suffering from paranoia right before the tragedy, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reports.

Datrice Armstrong, LaShanda’s mother, spoke exclusively with CBS 2.

“I’m still hurting. I will be forever hurting for the rest of my life,” she said.

Police said Armstrong loaded her four children into the family minivan Tuesday night and intentionally drove it into the Hudson River. She drowned, along with her 11-month-old daughter Laianna and two of her sons, 5-year-old Lance and 2-year-old Landon.

“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,” said Datrice.

The lone survivor, 10-year-old LaShaun, was also in the van but was able to escape through a window. He swam to shore and flagged down a passing car, giving the driver a chilling account of what happened.

“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.

On Thursday, the 10-year-old went to play as his family tried to keep his mind off the utter horror of Tuesday night.

Little LaShaun wonders why he survived, and what could have been, reports CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

“He’s doing very good, but he’s mentioned it…he will never forget the incident, what happened,” LaShanda’s grandmother, Pearl Posey, said. “He wishes that he could have told his brothers how to swim.”

Newburgh police said Armstrong was distraught over rumors her boyfriend had been cheating on her. Thursday morning, her sister said she had been acting strange and paranoid over the past few weeks.

“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,” sister Darice Armstrong said.

Wednesday night, family and friends lit candles and laid stuffed animals at the scene. Armstrong’s mother broke down.

“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,” Datrice said.

Family members were not only trying to cope with the tragedy, they were also in the midst of planning four funerals. They asked that any donations be made to First Baptist Church in Spring Valley.

Comments (44)
  1. beautii33 says:


  2. beautii33 says:

    j-warrior i agree.. because there isnt a man tht good tht wud have me all twisted up to kill my kids bc he wanna be deceivin.. plz where does it say in the bible this is rite.thou shall not kill…they are babies who cud not defend for theirself.. put them at a family house put them in the store put them on the bus . then leave ,…dnt kill them..omg y? its so sad … i cry bc i have kids i been through alot and i be dam if i take my kids life for anybody.. ill kill myself first… understand me .im not bein evil an dnt take this the wrong way. im sad for the babies bc they had a life! she took it away from them.. bc of selfishness…..i cnt an wont accept this…. AND TO THE FAMILY MAY GOD BE WITH YALL….LIL MAN IM SRRY..U Had to witness the life of ur loved ones being taken by ur mom.. im sure she loved yall . but if the love was as strong as it was for her lovin a man… this wud have never happened bc she wud have had more knowledge to kno god made more then one man, there are millions and she shud have been stronger than tht… ,to the babies dad im srry for u as well its nowone fault because saten had her along time ago … the eyes was not aware.and she is old enough to kno wat the heck she was dewin.. she knew if she didnt then her last words to her kids wudn’t have been so blunt… we gonna die toghether ..get the heck outa here she shud have went herself.. i cnt imagine the air tht was takin from the babies the movements under water… smh i wish they wud have done a miracle and swam the hell out the and shock her ass .. then maybe she wud have opened her eyes……im not done…

  3. Tina says:

    1st of all let’s respect the family of this young lady they have not only lost a daughter they have lost 3 children also..who are we to judge what she was going though because people hadle stress differantly only GOD knows so please pray for the young man that has survived and the adult that will be caring for him .there is some ruff roads ahead so we need to pray and not judge.her mom and aunts and other family members have to deal with this for life never know what might happen to someone in your family and you dont want to be judged so dont judge ….lord rest her and her little angles souls in peace .and please pray for the fathers of the children because he’s grieving too he has lost his angles so dont just think of her family think of him to because he needs support too be blessed

    1. beautii33 says:


  4. yo yo yo yo says:


    1. Tina says:

      and what does yo yo yo yo mean thats crazy when you lol about the life of an adult and children being lost what a heart you have hope you never go though what this family is dealing with right now because yo yo yo yo wont be funny any more you be blessed and may the GOOD LORD have mercy on your soul be blessed

  5. Neworleans says:

    God is love ! Lets lift this family up in prayer. Lets work extra hard to embrace this 10 year old child. praying for his state of mind and well being. Lets not focus on how the tragedy took place. The thing to do now is to pray without ceasing for this family! They truly need strength during this time of bereavement.

  6. Rhonda Vixn King says:

    My heart and prayers go out to the surviving child and family members

  7. LaShay says:

    We should not judge this woman or her boyfriend by what the media is saying. I’m sure that this woman was going through hard times and may just needed someone to talk too. Some individual arent as strong as others, and may notbe able to handle the situations that may come to them. I do not think the media should bring light to the boyfriend stating that he may be the cause of her actions. I believe that he is a good man that took care of his kids so lets not judge him either. The whole media needs to leave this family alone and let them grieve in peace. This family will forever be in my prayers.

  8. rhonda simpson says:

    My name is Rhonda, and if all you wicked evil people leaving your negative opinion about this young lady, someones child, someones grandchild, somesones family period, cant see that she had psychiatric issues that could have played a part in this, then your sick and crazy. Your initial response should be to try to imagine a mother who apparently loved her children could watch them die before her and not revoke her decision, instead of being angry with her. Her family will read these comments and are still mourning their loss. Have some sympathy why dont you. This is a prime example of how cruel the world is and it is true that only the strong survive because you negative people are just as i stated earlier WICKED. She needed help and cried out prior by saying she was feeling like she was being watched and things were missing. so many people closed to her noticed it but unfortunately wasnt aware of the end results of life cruel hands. We should mourne for her and her children and the next heartbreaking tragedies that make us as strong as we are today. Just pray its not you the next time because when theres trouble in your mind its very difficult to fix or recognize and diagnose. I didnt mention the infidelity because that was just the push she needed on top of all the psychological issue she was experiencing. I beg you people to have a heart and speak positive or do not speak at all. after all her surviving son is still here and by the way did any of you negative people donate to his fund and are you concerned with how he will feel when he reads this or begins to miss his siblings and mom. i am a christian so i will say may god have mercy on your soul for judging her. SHe and her children were beautiful werent they. Im sorry she didnt get the help she needed.

  9. keep praYING says:

    unfortunately it took this heart wrenching tragedy to occur for the family and hopefully this will bring about exposure to other families when they see any out of the ordinary to help their loved one,it could have possibly been prevented.

  10. KEEP PRAYING says:

    i’m drenched in tears ,i feel so terrible that this has happened .those poor kids are so innocent.the stupid devil is always busy in innocent people heart feel for the ten year old when he said he should have told how to swim ,so so sad mein,i dont want to pass any judgement ,Ill be praying

  11. dgt5855 says:

    There was a lot more going on in this poor, wretched, soul’s life than her man cheating on her. Millions of women have had men cheat on them and they don’t go out and kill their children. Perhaps she was just overwhelmed with the facets of her life just being too much for her. We can only guess and will never know, but it is beyond sad that the children had no one to fend for them.

  12. J-WARRIOR says:


  13. guest says:

    I kiss and hug my 4 children every day and when I read stories like this one I kiss and hug them even more.

    This woman must have been in a desperate situation to do this. She was so young and raising 4 kids takes a lot of patience. May all of them rest in peace and may the Lord forgive her actions so that she can be in heaven with her angels.

  14. doc says:

    nyc. mental illness is very difficult to admit to oneself and treat. Not making excuses for her, but hopelessness, no skill, no education, poor, at 15 a child having child. At 25, the responsibily of caring for 4 young kids. This can
    really break you. I just hope that the surviving kid can get the kid of social
    and family help that he will need.

  15. butter says:

    For all of the people that saying nasty about this lady, pls let it been known love hurt. her man was cheating with the next neighbor. love hurt all of us one way or another. love is a powerful word. love hurt.

    1. AB says:

      What does that have to do with the children???! Did her children cheat with the next door neighbor. people are who they are but we have choices and she chose to stay and chose to kill her children. Thats the bottom line. HER CHOICE

  16. toarn bk says:

    My heart really goes out to those inocent Kids this woman was very selfish she knew what she was doing, sense enough to take those Kids with her why not go alone what kind of a mother does such hurriable thing now that ten year old is left with out. His siblings god knows he will be tramatized.

  17. Sun Raness says:

    I will not criticize the mother for we do not know exactly what happened or where she was mentally. However the daycare worker said she looked strange and talked strangely that day. Being of a different mindset I will assume that another entity took control of her (negative deadly spirit daemon spirit) and she and it was at a point of no return. Most of us do not realize we are operating with these spirit beings inside of us and born with it too, therefore some of us do not know how to put these spirit beings in check. It is unfortunate but nothing that happens is an accident it was meant to be. The best we can do is try our best to operate in the positive and when that negative being rise up hopefully we can put it back in check.
    Peace, harmony, and true care for all.

    1. AB says:

      She had a choice. Even evil spirits bow to the Lord and no we are not born with evil spirits. You have to meet a condition i.e. studying witchcraft, black magic, abominations etc. to have one enter you. Read your bible if your going to share.

      1. Sun Raness says:

        Not true we are all born with a spirit in us, whether negative or positive. No thank you as far as the bible is concern being it is corrupt and has been altered a few times in my lifetime. One other point if you study the genealogy of the bible, the locations, specific people who that book was relating to then pure knowledge would tell you it wasn’t for everyone.

  18. Sterling Archer says:

    I thought that people who commit suicide aren’t allow to have a funeral?

  19. Danny DD says:

    It is a great tragic. We have so many couples are not comitted to marriage vow and building family together. They were to selfish to look for benefit of their own and forgot the partners and the kids, the biological products of their short romance. Unfortunately, leaving behing the partners with tremedous burdens resulting in unstable personality. What happened to Armstrongs done have done! I hope this tragic event reflect how much we should value our lifetime partners and family, that we may have overlooked.. My Prayers are with the Armstrong family!! And May God Guide The Lost Ones!

  20. Caligrl says:

    R.I.P. To the innocent kids. But the mom doesn’t deserve any sympathy from anyone. Where was the so called family at when she was hearing things? Now the grandmother is crying saying she won’t be able to hold them or see them. They would still be here if someone reached out to her when she needed it.

  21. June says:

    It’s so unfortunate that this mother did not value the life of her children. I lost a child to leukemia so hearing about someone who elected to take their children’s lives is someone who doesn’t know how lucky they are to have 4 healthy children.

  22. the says:

    I just dont understand what could have drawn somebody to do this horrible thing. iMy heart goes out to the children. I can imagine what they have thought while they were drowning. Never can understand why a mother would murder her helpless children.

  23. Soap says:

    I am not religious but if there is a hell, this is it !

  24. Alan says:

    What a jerk Couldn’t go alone had to take the children with her. yeah you really showed us

  25. nathan says:

    Enough sensationalizing every juicy tidbit of this horrific tragedy. No wonder everyone hates the media.

    1. badman says:


      CBS is just ACHING to have people post vicious stuff about this woman

  26. Nancy Wall-Clarke says:

    This is so sad. It wouldn’t surprise me if she had post partum depression. Maybe doctors should talk more to family members as well as the mom before and after pregnancy about how to recognize this illness so that treatment can be given before such a terrible tragedy takes place.

    1. Tasha says:

      Recognition for postpartum depression has come a long way. I work in a place that is a huge advocate in giving moms the most information possible on postpartum depression.I do not fault this mother for what she did. Her mental state was altered by postpartum depression that was left untreated and unfortunately turned into postpartum psychosis or she had a mental illness that went untreated. Until anyone walks in those shoes we cannot judge her for causing this unspeakable tragedy.

      1. AB says:

        Which is it? Is it postpartum or is it her cheating spouse???? Well, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree if her mother had a conversation with her and couldn’t be bothered enough to go directly to her or say something to her if she sounded strange on the telephone 30 minutes before she did this thing. Oh don’t forget that she was acting strange two weeks prior. So she had enough time to pinch herslef out of it and her mother had enough time to slap the SH*& out of her.

        She killed her kids!!!! Thats it!

  27. Kevin says:

    this is the saddest thing i have ever heard in my 57 years on this earth.

    1. John Adams says:


      this is the saddest thing i have ever heard in my 57 years on this earth”

      Sadder than the Viet Nam war?

      1. Kevin says:

        I lost 3 close buds in Vietnam, Yes, this is the saddest thing
        Who are you to ask, pray tell?

  28. Beatrice Atim says:

    May the souls of the innocent kids R.I.P.

  29. Jojo says:

    The family is trying to deal with a tragic loss. I guess it makes them feel better to think that she was mentally ill then to think she was a cold hearted woman who chose to take her life and her childrens lives. Her older son was lucky to have the faculties to pull the window down and swim to shore to try and get help. I agree with NYC. If he family new she was mental, why did they not get her help?

  30. Fallingleaves2 says:

    Good Question!!!!!

  31. The Real Devenio says:

    Like what NYC? You ever heard a friend say something totally off the wall? What did you do about it? Easy to judge after the fact there tuffy.

  32. nyc says:

    Of course she was mentally unstable ! If her family noticed, why didn’t they do anything about it !

    1. AB says:

      OH KAY!!!! I’m glad I am not theonly one looking past all of these excuses.

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