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Duxbury mother who attempted suicide to be charged with murdering 2 of her children, officials say

Lindsay Clancy, 32, strangled her three children Tuesday, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said a preliminary investigation indicates. Cora Clancy, 5, and Dawson Clancy, 3, died, while a 7-month-old boy was injured and is hospitalized.

Duxbury police parked outside Lindsay Clancy's home on Wednesday.
Duxbury police parked outside Lindsay Clancy's home on Wednesday. John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

A Duxbury mother is facing murder charges after allegedly strangling her three young children on Tuesday, two of whom died, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.

Lindsay Clancy, 32, is accused of killing her 5-year-old daughter, Cora, and 3-year-old son, Dawson, Cruz said in a press conference Wednesday. A third child, 7 months old, survived and was flown to Boston Children’s Hospital, where he remains, according to Cruz. 

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, a man — who Cruz later identified as Clancy’s husband — called 911 to report a suspected suicide attempt at the family’s 47 Summer St. home. Clancy, who had jumped from a window, remained hospitalized Wednesday, Cruz said. 

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Inside the home, emergency crews found the three children with “obvious signs of severe trauma,” Cruz said. A preliminary investigation suggested the children had been strangled, he said. 

“As soon as able, we will be arraigning [Clancy] on the two charges of murder in the deaths of her children,” he said.

Update: At 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, Cruz’s office announced that an arrest warrant has been issued for Clancy “for 2 counts of Homicide and 3 counts each of Strangulation, and Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon for the deaths of 5 year-old Cora Clancy and 3 year-old Dawson Clancy. Lindsay Clancy is under police custody.”

Cruz declined to comment on whether postpartum psychosis — which can result in delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia in mothers who have recently given birth — may have played a role, but he said officials are looking at all angles.

“When something like this happens, there are obviously usually more questions than there are answers,” he said. “As we proceed forward, we will give answers as we can.”

Clancy’s Facebook page identifies her as a labor and delivery nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the hospital confirmed that she is an employee.

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“We are shocked and saddened to learn of this unthinkable tragedy,” MGH said in a statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by these devastating events.”

Cruz thanked first responders for their professionalism during the press conference, adding, “I’m sure many of them will not forget what they saw last evening.”

Duxbury Fire Chief Rob Reardon said all public safety personnel have been offered support.

“Tragedies like these are always difficult to comprehend and process,” he said. “We may be left struggling with many emotions.” 

A makeshift memorial with stuffed animals and flowers outside the home on Wednesday.
A makeshift memorial with stuffed animals and flowers outside the home on Wednesday. – John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

Town Manager René Read, emotional as he stood at the podium, said the community is reeling from the “tragic events.”

The police, fire, and dispatch personnel who were at the scene or assisted in the call were relieved of their duties, and the town is providing follow-up support, he said. 

“In these seemingly impossible moments, our support for them is absolutely critical, and we are committed to ensuring their well-being,” Read said. 

He also noted the overwhelming support Duxbury has seen in the aftermath and said those wishing to contribute meals to first responders may call the police department at 781-934-5656 or the fire department at 781-934-5693.

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“We have a lengthy road ahead of us,” Read said. “We’re thankful that we are not alone in that journey.”

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