A 24-year-old Maryland woman was given a mental evaluation a week before she suffocated her two toddlers Sunday morning, according to Cheverly police.
Sonya Spoon, of Cheverly, was arrested at the scene and admitted to suffocating the children, Prince George's County police said. She was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She is being held without bond.
Her motive is still under investigation.
“She did simply state that she was depressed for a short period of time leading up to this event,” Cheverly police Sgt. Jarrod Towers said.
The children -- Ayden Spoon, 1, and Kayla Thompson, 3 -- were found unresponsive in the home on Forest Road in Cheverly by another family member at 2:15 a.m. Sunday.
“A family member in the home was sought out by the suspect and it was that family member who located the victims,” Prince George’s County police Maj. Cesar Pacheco said.
Bags had been placed over their heads, police said.
Both children were taken to Children's National Medical Center, where they died. Children's was not the closest hospital but it offers pediatric emergency services, which Prince George's Hospital Center does not have. The county's EMS services often rely on Children's in such cases.
There is no guarantee either toddler would have survived regardless of where they were taken. They were in extreme critical condition when found.
Spoon’s mother called Cheverly police to the home Sept. 1 with concerns about Spoon threatening to kill herself and her 3-year-old daughter.
“They ended up taking the daughter into custody and transporting her to Prince George’s Hospital Center for an emergency petition service,” Towers said.
Outside of Spoon’s threats, nothing unusual was found in the home,
“There was no evidence to lead us to believe that there had ever been any neglect or abuse to either child in the residence,” Towers said.
Spoon was given a mental evaluation and was released and allowed back home with her two children.
According to Cheverly police, its department did all it legally could do.
“When a subject claims that they are having suicidal thoughts or makes threats to another person, we can transport them to the hospital for emergency petition service, but that’s all the authority we have,” Towers said.
Maryland's Department of Human Resources is investigating.
The Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office believes Spoon was mentally competent when her children were killed.
"We believe from what we've seen that she was fully aware of what she was doing," said John Erzen of the State's Attorney's Office.
Spoon was involved in a custody battle with the father of one of her children, News4 learned.
Neighbors say the children's grandparents have lived in that house for decades. The crime came as a complete shock to the community.
Crimes involving children are "especially heinous," said Detective Barnard Jones of the Cheverly Police Department, "and it's a very hard thing to deal with. Events like this are very, very rare and not common, so with that being said... we would just ask that you keep the victims' family as well as all the first responders in your thoughts."
Police from Cheverly and Prince George's County investigated the scene throughout the day Sunday, including dusting the front door for fingerprints. But they had said early in the day that they did not believe the incident was a "random act."
"We are all saddened by this tragic event. The loss of two children that were so young tugs at our hearts," Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker said in a statement released Sunday.
Baker lives in the same Cheverly neighborhood where the crime occurred.
Spoon has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 3 in Prince George's County District Court.
Stay wth News4 and NBCWashington for more on this developing story.