Nancy Johnson drowned her son Jacob Johnson, 2, and daughter Mia Johnson, 5, in the bathroom before dying by suicide
An Alabama man is expressing his shock and grief after his two children were killed by his estranged wife in what authorities say was a murder-suicide.
Nancy Johnson drowned her son Jacob Johnson, 2, and daughter Mia Johnson, 5, in the bathroom and slashed her daughter’s throat before she hanged herself, authorities said, according to NBC 15 News.
The children's autopsies revealed that both died from drowning, but Mia’s blood loss due to her knife wounds contributed to her official cause of death, authorities said, according to the outlet.
Derek Johnson, the father of the children and the estranged husband of Nancy, shared in a note on a GoFundMe launched by his sister that he is devastated and is horrified at the thought of returning to the bathroom where his children were murdered. (GoFundMe has verified the authenticity of the fundraiser to PEOPLE.)
“Now I am at ground 0 and left with around [$25,000] in debt, a bathroom that I can't possibly stare at where my children were drowned, I want to tear it all out,” he wrote on the page, which was created on Sunday, three days after he discovered the bodies of his wife and children inside their home in Semmes, Ala.
According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, court records stated that Nancy and Derek Johnson were in the midst of a divorce and custody battle, with Nancy showing signs of mental health issues.
Derek wrote that Nancy was having "mental issues" in his post, adding that Nancy began deteriorating and "was having an identity crisis" since the pandemic began.
"She let the teaching and rumors of the world consume her and no matter how I tried to help her she pushed me away and I could not force her to get help," he wrote.
A Utah judge issued a protection-from-abuse order against Derek at Nancy’s request in August, and Derek filed for divorce the following day in Mobile County, per Fox 10 News.
After a judge granted both parents joint custody and placed the children under “protective supervision” under the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Derek was was ordered to place a camper trailer in the backyard of their home for both parents to sleep in when they alternated weeks spent with their kids beginning Oct. 1, according to Fox 10 News.
But before that arrangement could begin, the children "were suddenly taken from this world in the worst way possible," he wrote.
“The amount of happiness and love that emanated from Mia and Jacob was very apparent to all that they were around,” he wrote in memory of his children. “Our house was filled with joy and happiness, their future was so bright in every way possible.”
Outlets NBC 15 News and the Waco Tribune-Herald reported that Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch said Derek will not face any charges amid the ongoing investigation.
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