Sheriff: Alabama mother drowned her children, then hung herself; she had a history of mental health issues

Published 4:02 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

Law enforcement authorities said an Alabama woman who had a history of mental health issues apparently drowned her two children Thursday before killing herself.

Nancy Johnson, 37, of Semmes, Alabama, was found dead along with her two children – 2-year-old Jacob Johnson and 5-year-old Mia Johnson – in their home Thursday, Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch said Friday.

The sheriff said the Nancy Johnson’s estranged husband and the children’s father found the bodies, but was not involved in the killing.

Burch said autopsies confirmed the children were drowned, though the older child also had cuts to her throat.

Their bodies were found on a sofa in the residence’s living room covered by blankets.

Their mother’s body was found in a closet where she had hung herself.

“We have learned there were clearly some psychiatric issues with the mother,” Burch said. “We’re learning more about that as the hours go by. There are court documents which make reference to her mental condition.”

Nancy Johnson apparently had left a note for neighbors prior to her death suggesting that if she died the main suspect should be her estranged husband.

The sheriff said it was impossible to speak to her mindset, but that the husband’s story checked out with investigators and perhaps she was simply trying to set her husband up.