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Diagnosed with depression days before kids died

LISA GIBSON had been formally diagnosed with postpartum depression only days before her two small children were found dead in a bathtub and she disappeared from sight, the Free Press has learned.

A justice source familiar with the massive investigation and search underway said Gibson had been prescribed medication, although it's unclear whether she was taking it.

"Everyone is just dumbfounded," said the source last night. "It's unfathomable."

Gibson's mother-in-law had been helping out the family by spending time at their two-storey white home every day to offset some of the pressure on Gibson. In fact, the source said, she was the one on scene when police first entered the home Wednesday morning, having herself arrived only moments earlier to discover the tragedy.

It's believed Gibson was the one who placed the 911 call, which consisted of stating the address to the emergency operator and asking for officers to be sent before hanging up. Police believe she then immediately left the home.

Efforts to revive her children, Anna, 2, and three-month-old Nicholas failed.

Deanna Gower, who identified herself as Gibson's cousin, said she had talked to Gibson's parents in the wake of the tragedy. "I'm not the spokesperson for the family, and the family, while they appreciate the assistance, they're not able to talk right now," Gower said.

Gower said Gibson had been seeking treatment for postpartum depression.

"I do know that she'd been seeing a doctor, and that she was seeking treatment," Gower said.

Gower said she was thankful for the "tone" the Winnipeg Police Service was taking with their search efforts.

"I believe what needs to happen right now is they just need to find her, and then the story will come from there," Gower said.

At a police media conference Thursday, Const. Eric Hofley said officers are still searching for Gibson.

"We're still treating this, as we're searching for Ms. Gibson, that she's alive," Hofley said.

Gibson, described as 5-5 with a slim build and short strawberry-blond hair, is a registered pharmacist, the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association confirmed Thursday. She had been working at Grace Hospital prior to her maternity leave.


mike.mcintrye@freepress.mb.ca oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2013 A4

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