A Pennsylvania woman and her infant son are dead in an apparent murder-suicide after a Facebook post. Police in Shrewsbury Township found the body of Sheri Shermeyer, 40, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Also discovered was the body of her 12-month-old son John, who police say was smothered with a pillow. Police were at the home in response to a request for a welfare check on Shermeyer after a suicidal Facebook post.
Shermeyer was in an estranged relationship with the child’s father and posted the following messages on her Facebook page:
“I feel that the ONLY thing I have to live for is this little guy asleep in my arms right now, John. He is the only reason why I haven’t blown my head off right now. And even now, all I can think about is leaving this world. Putting a gun in my mouth and leaving. Which is what is going to happen.”
Later in the message she addressed her son’s father and posted “You will never see your son again. You don’t deserve to have a son, to have a legacy. Why should you have your name carried on? You are a nasty man. Sure you have a big heart and can be the most loving and caring person. But where had he gone? Where is the man that took me away from NC where I had a plan, where I was good being on my own? But as of late, you are hateful, ugly and downright mean.”
An autopsy on the mother and child is scheduled for this week as police are still investigating the incident. It is unknown at this time whether Shermeyer was suffering from the effects of post-partum depression which can appear up to six months after the birth of a child. Left untreated the depression can get worse and can have tragic consequences. Unfortunately, the holiday season is a prime time for depression and suicidal actions for many Americans. It is recommended that social media users be more concerned when a friend or relative is posting an emotional plea for help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline accepts calls 24-hours and help is a phone call away at 1-800-273-8255.