STAMFORD, Conn. — Investigators believe that a Connecticut woman who was fatally shot by police Thursday after a car chase from the White House to the Capitol had grappled with mental illness and might have believed she was surreptitiously being monitored by President Barack Obama.
Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist living in Stamford, Conn., "may have thought President Obama was stalking her" when she steered her black Infiniti, with her 1-year-old daughter sitting in the back, onto some of the nation's most highly guarded territory, according to a law enforcement official.
Carey had been diagnosed as having postpartum depression with psychosis, her sister Amy Carey-Jones said in a Friday interview on Anderson Cooper 360°, and she had been treated with counseling and medication. Carey-Jones said her sister "didn't appear to be unstable."
"We will never know what Miriam was thinking in those last hours before she died," her sister told Cooper. "We can only speculate, and our real concern is why, and were things done properly. Was there some other way that she could have been helped so that it didn't end tragically?"
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the investigation had uncovered "a picture of a mentally disturbed woman." Miriam Carey had been treated for schizophrenia, he said, but two of her sisters disputed his characterization.
McCaul said her condition might have been exacerbated by a head injury and that her boyfriend had called police to say she believed that her apartment was bugged and that Obama was behind it. Another sister, Valarie Carey, called the boyfriend's account "very questionable."
For now, the biggest mystery is whether the incident was the culmination of a downward spiral or was sparked by some event.