Forney mother and children likely perished as result of overdose
FORNEY, TEXAS — A missing Forney mother found deceased in
Farmers Branch on Thursday most likely died of an overdose and
her two children subsequently perished due to a heat stroke
after being left in their car seats in the back of their vehicle
for more than a day according to law enforcement officials and
Natalie Chambers, 31, was reported missing by
family members to the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO)
late Wednesday afternoon after she and her two daughters,
4-year-old Izabel and 2-year-old Elise, never arrived at
playdate in Grapevine earlier in the day.
family were immediately worried about Chamber’s disappearance
because of a history of drug and alcohol abuse and her recent
bouts with depression according to a family member who did not
wish to be identified.
“Natalie had struggled in the past
but had gotten some help and was an amazing mom. Recently,
during COVID she had become more depressed and had obviously
relapsed,” the family member tells inForney.com. 'We are all
devastated that the girls had to witness such a tragedy and
Friends, family and law enforcement
spent Wednesday night into Thursday morning searching
frantically for Chambers and her children. The case did not meet
the qualifications for an Amber alert according to authorities.
According to doorbell camera video first obtained by WFAA
Channel 8 reporter Rebecca Lopez, the footage shows Chambers
leaving her Forney home early Wednesday with a time stamp at
8:06 a.m. for a playdate in her hometown of Grapevine.
These are the last images to capture Chambers and her daughters
Farmers Branch police said the KCSO
investigators asked them to search an area where Chambers might
have been travelling, and that is when they found her SUV.
Police say they found Chambers’ vehicle in a parking lot
near 635 and Midway Road and found all three of them deceased
inside their blue Ford Escape just after 10 a.m. Thursday
“Our officers responded to the location, checked
the area, and actually located the vehicle in the 4300 block of
LBJ freeway,” Farmers Branch Police Department Officer Steve
Rutherford said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
“Upon contacting the occupants of the vehicle, the officers
observed there were three occupants inside the vehicle and the
tragic discovery was made that all three occupants of the
vehicle were deceased,” Rutherford said.
closes to the investigation tell inForney.com that there were no
apparent signs of foul play, no suspect is being sought and that
evidence collected at the scene indicated an apparent overdose
of a undisclosed substance.
Rutherford and KCSO public
information officer Jolie Stewart told multiple media outlets
that the investigation and grim scene was emotionally difficult
for officers to process.
According to video surveillance
obtained by investigators near the furniture store parking lot,
footage captures Chamber’s vehicle pull in, park and the engine
turned off just after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Reportedly no one approached or exited the vehicle until it was
found by FBPD patrolman more than 24 hours later sources say.
Temperatures reached a sweltering 93 degrees Wednesday afternoon
in Dallas according to the National Weather Service in Fort
Chambers’ sister, Jessica Purcell, released the
following statement to CBS 11 reporter Erin Jones on the
situation after the discovery:
“Natalie was hilarious and
charismatic and never met a stranger. She fiercely loved her
girls and was an inspirational mother. I always used to tell her
I’m glad she did it (motherhood) first so I can steal parenting
tips from her. Izabel and Elise were happy and so very smart and
witty. Izabel got that her mom’s sassiness and Elise got her
humor. They were beautiful and perfect. Our hearts are
Farmers Branch Police Department
and KCSO investigators have declined to publicly comment on the
cause of death, citing an official autopsy report is expected
from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office this week.
According to local substance abuse and mental health
experts, relapses and overdoses have seen a steep rise as more
people were forced out of their jobs and daily norms and into
their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a
tragic story, like so many we hear, but what I want addicts and
those struggling with addiction to know, is there is Hope,” Dr.
David Henderson, Medical Director for the Treehouse Recovery
Center and Vertava Health in Scurry, Texas tells inForney.com.
Dr. Henderson is a published author and local expert on
substance abuse and addiction and is not involved in the
Dr. Henderson says that a 21%
percent increase in the use of prescription antidepressants and
the listing of prescription drug Zoloft on the Food & Drug
Administration’s (FDA) Drug shortage list since the beginning of
March is proof that the mental and emotional health of our
community is struggling.
“The suffering is real right
now,” Dr. Henderson says, “Those that are suffering have to know
that on the other side of the pain and helplessness is a place
of redeemable valuable. There is redemption beyond the point of
suffering, but you must be ready and willing to do the work to
Henderson said that virtual and online
counseling can be extremely helpful when people might be unable
to seek inpatient resources. However, Henderson said the stigma
of mental health and addiction continue to delay people from
getting the resources they need.
“If you wanted to focus
on your physical health get healthy and you hired a trainer to
help you; no one would say a word,” Henderson says. “If you
wanted to focus on your mental health and you wanted to hire an
expert who could train you to navigate your emotions and how you
cope with life; then people might have something to say. It’s
not right, nor is it fair.”
Dr. Henderson also says that
cost should never be a deterrent for those seeking emotional
support or help with substance abuse.
resources available. If you are struggling, just pick up the
phone and call,” Henderson says.
If you or someone you
know is suffering from addiction or a mental health crisis,
Treehouse and Vertava Health have 24 Hour Helpline 888-614-2251.
There is no charge to call.
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