Mary Jo Trokey is believed to have fatally shot her husband and baby daughter before turning the gun on herself. Now authorities are trying to determine whether postpartum depression played a role in this apparent murder-suicide.
Mary Jo Trokey, 32, her husband Matthew, 33, and their three-month-old daughter Taylor Rose were found dead in their St. Louis, Missouri home on February 2, 2018. The bodies were discovered by a parent of one of the adults, who then notified police.
A gun was found at the scene and there were no signs of forced entry. Police said no one else was at home at the time of the deaths. All three bodies were found in the same area of the house.
While police are not releasing any new information, it is believed that investigators are looking into Mary Jo Trokey’s purchase of a gun not long before the deaths. They are also investigating whether mental illness played a role.
Mary Jo Trokey’s Community Reacts
The Trokeys’ pastor, Reverend Bob Reiker from St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, said he baptized the couple’s daughter in December 2017 and saw no signs of trouble.
“It’s hard to imagine what happened,” Reiker said. “People are baffled by it. It’s inexplicable how someone could do this to themselves, let alone their little girl.”
He said Mary Jo was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society and described the couple as friendly. He added they regularly attended Sunday Mass.
Relatives are also trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
“They’re just a good, Catholic family,” said one relative who asked not to be identified. “They’re good people.”
Kim Matrino-Sexton, the postpartum resources coordinator for SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, said she encourages anyone who may be suffering from postpartum depression to seek out help, just like she once did.
“I just remember feeling such a sense of relief when there were other women feeling the same way. I was a high-powered career woman and then had this baby and felt like I was a foreigner in another land, and didn’t know to get through the day,” Matrino-Sexton said.
She added it’s rare for postpartum depression to lead to psychosis and violence.