'Horrific': Pennsylvania mom allegedly murdered her 2 young children, tried to fake their hangings

Kristin Lam, USA TODAY

A Pennsylvania mother who told police her children hanged themselves was charged Monday with murdering the 8-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl.

Lisa Rachelle Snyder, 36, made internet searches for suicide methods shortly before police found the children in cardiac arrest in the basement of their Albany Township home, according to court documents. She is charged with first- and third-degree murder, child endangerment and evidence tampering.

“This is a horrific, tragic incident,” Berks County District Attorney John Adams told reporters.

In police interviews, Snyder said her son Conner hanged himself because he was bullied at school but "was scared to go by himself," so his sister Brinley joined him, Adams said. Both children died Sept. 26, three days after Snyder called 911 to report the incident. 

School officials and family members later told police Conner never said he was bullied, Adams said. The boy didn't have the dexterity to hang himself, an occupational therapist told police, noting his disability prevented him from tying his shoes. 

Snyder allegedly searched for hanging methods the day before the bodies were found, according to an affidavit, and had looked up episodes of a crime documentary series called "I Almost Got Away With It." She also made an internet search to determine whether an idling hybrid car produces carbon monoxide, authorities wrote.  

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The county coroner has ruled the deaths as homicides. Children and Youth Services previously investigated Snyder, Adams said, and removed the kids from her care in 2014 before returning them in 2015. 

Snyder may face the death penalty, Adams said. She is being held without bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week, according to court documents. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pennsylvania mom murdered children found hanging, authorities say