Did the woman who died in a car chase near the Capitol Thursday afternoon suffer from mental illness?
That is one of many questions investigators hope to answer Friday as the investigation continues into the midday shooting of a woman in Washington, D.C.
Authorities say they have discovered medication in 34-year-old Miriam Carey's home a day after she sped off from officers near the White House and was shot and killed during a car chase. The first drug, called Risperidone, is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, while the second, Escitalopram, is more commonly known as Lexapro and is prescribed to treat depression. There is no proof that Carey actually took any of the medications.
Several sources, including her mother and boyfriend, have said that Carey suffered from post-partum depression after giving birth to her daughter. Psychologist Xavier Amador told CNN that it is possible Carey was taking the medications for a rare illness called postpartum psychosis, which occurs in approximately .1% of births. The symptoms include delusions, strange beliefs, and inability to sleep.
Carey approached the outer perimeter of the White House in her car at 15th and E Street a little after 2 p.m., according to the Secret Service. Officers were walking toward the black Infiniti G35 coupe when she made a shaky turn and drove off, hitting barricades and one of the officers as she sped away.
At Garfield Circle, Carey saw authorities waiting and slammed the car into reverse, crashing into a police cruiser. Police opened fire, and after a brief chase, the vehicle crashed in the 100 block of Maryland Avenue. Carey died from injuries sustained in the shooting. Her 18-month-old, who was in the car with her, was rescued from the vehicle unharmed.
A resident of Stamford, Connecticut, Carey worked for Bronx Dental Implants and Periodontics as a dental hygienist. In 2011, she started her own temporary employment firm called Experienced Dental Placements out of her condo.
Stamford has a population of 122,643, making it the third-largest city in the state. In the aftermath of her death, family, friends and more are at a loss as to what happened and why.
"I know one thing; she always drove too fast," Kevin Morano, a neighbor who said he lived two doors down from her, told the Stamford Advocate.
Her sister, Amy Carey, a Brooklyn nurse, was incredulous when she was reached Thursday afternoon and told what had happened. “She wouldn’t be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her. . . . I don’t know what’s happening. I can’t answer any more."