Complaint: Mom says she planned suicide with kidsby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — In letters found in her South St. Paul home, Patricia Ann Becht described what she had to do the day before police believe she killed her son and tried to kill her daughter.
Write all suicide notes. Leave phone numbers of people who cared for her and the kids. Count all medications. Get sleeping area ready, the letters said.
On Friday, Dakota County prosecutors charged Becht with first degree murder for the death of her 10-year-old son, Michael, and attempted first-degree murder of her 11-year-old daughter, Erica. Authorities said Becht told them she planned the suicide with Michael and Erica.
Becht, 42, is being held at the Dakota County Jail in Hastings. A judge set her bail at $1 million and ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. She will have her first court appearance at 4 p.m. this afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint filed today, Becht told police she gave each child 10 pills of the drug Seroquel -- which is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The complaint also says Becht took 25 pills to try to kill herself.
According to the complaint, Becht told police that during the recent coverage of Michael Jackson's death, the kids asked about the singer's Neverland compound, where he lived in California. Becht told the children Neverland was a place for kids to go, and it was similar to heaven, according to the complaint.
Police found Michael Becht on a bed inside his home on Monday afternoon. According to the complaint, the boy had stopped breathing and was turning blue when one of Becht's nieces called police. Police found numerous pill bottles on a dresser in the room where Michael was pronounced dead.
Erica was found unconscious and breathing. She was taken to Children's Hospital in St. Paul, where she is continuing to receive medical attention.
Police found Patricia Becht on the bathroom floor of the home. She was taken to United Hospital, where she remained under police supervision until Thursday morning when she was released and arrested.
A 16-year-old daughter who also lives in the home was not present at the time of the incident.
Inside the house, officers found what appears to be a suicide note in which Becht said "she and the other two children were at peace." Becht later told police she wrote the note.
Police found another note in which Becht said she and the children "are happy to be gone."
Results of an autopsy conducted by the Dakota County Medical Examiner's Office Tuesday to determine the exact cause of Michael's death have not yet been released.
Dakota County Social Services is aware of the incident and is taking action to secure care for the two daughters, according to South St. Paul Police Chief Dan Vujovich.