Arizona Republic

Mom planned to kill self, kids, note says

By Chuck Hawley
The Arizona Republic
July 15, 1999

A Gilbert woman found unconscious at her home planned her own death and that of her two small children and planned burial arrangements for all three, police said.

Carolyn Porter, 38, was found July 8 in the bedroom of her home in the 500 block of North Redrock Street by her husband, Joseph Porter. The couple's two daughters, Taylor, 3, and Cassandra, 11 months, both showed signs they had taken or been given sleep-inducing drugs.

The night she was found, her husband gave police a note, found in the home and presumably written by his wife, in which she detailed how she and her daughters should be buried: "Cassie on the left and Taylor of (sic) the right.

"I want Taylor buried with her dog and cats. Cassie buried with her blanke (sic). I want my family to have my things. I want the toys to go to the Children's Hospital. Carolyn Porter."

Ken Fixel, spokesman for the Gilbert Police Department, said Gilbert police have no record of calls to the home to intervene in domestic disputes.

Also, Child Protective Services has investigated the case and has allowed Joseph to retain custody of his daughters.

After they were found last week, all three were taken to Desert Samaritan Medical Center. The children recovered within two days. Carolyn was in a coma for several days but also has recovered and has been interviewed by detectives, Fixel said.

He would not disclose the results of that interview nor predict whether charges might be filed against the mother.

After finding numerous prescription drugs in the home, police served a search warrant on the residence the night the three were found. A list of materials seized under authority of the warrant was released Wednesday and included numerous prescription drugs, including Valium and medications for asthma.

Also seized were two recently issued insurance policies, one bought in May, the other in June, but Fixel would not say who bought the policies, who they cover or who the beneficiaries are.

Fixel said the investigation continues and now awaits a toxicology report on the numerous substances seized.

Bill Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, said his office has seen none of the material gathered so far by detectives.

"We expect Gilbert police will give us a completed report shortly, and from that report, we'll see what charges, if any, might apply," he said.

Copyright 1999, Arizona Central