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Police: Mom who drove girls into river tried to poison them first

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Family members identify the three bodies recovered from the Kalamazoo River as Ineza McClinton and her twin daughters, Angel and Faith. (WWMT/Courtesy of family)

Family members said they told police that Ineza McClinton, 44, tried to poison her twin daughters with antifreeze in the months before she drove her car into the river while they were inside.

Police said McClinton drove her car into the Kalamazoo River around 11 p.m. on June 17 with her twin 9-year-old daughters, Angel and Faith, inside, killing herself and both girls.

Before the incident, McClinton’s granddaughters were also riding in the car and she let them out, repeating “I’m sorry,” over and over, the granddaughter later told police. According to the report, her granddaughter said McClinton handed her the phone before she drove into the Kalamazoo River.

According to Kalamazoo Public Safety report obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, McClinton's mother told investigators about the plan, which included an attempt by McClinton to die by overdosing on pills.

McClinton's family members told police she tried to make Angel and Faith drink juice with antifreeze in the spring.

According to the report, the 9-year-old girls saw her putting the antifreeze in the juice and didn't drink it.

McClinton’s mother said a report about the attempted suicide and poisoning was filed with the Grand Rapids Police Department. The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety report stated that according to a Grand Rapids Police case file the information about the antifreeze was never reported to officers,

Relatives told police they intervened in McClinton's suicide attempt in April 2019. McClinton's daughter called from Georgia, stating her mother told her over the phone that she was going to take some pills and doesn't want to be here anymore.

According to the report, Grand Rapids Police made contact with McClinton who advised she was not suicidal, but was just tired because doctor's changed her medication and wouldn't let her take Seroquel anymore.

Relatives said she sought help for depression and took prescription drugs for mental illnesses.

McClinton's sister told police she believed McClinton checked herself into Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids within the last couple months for mental health issues.

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services CEO Jeff Patton said people who seek mental health treatment can still fall through the cracks of the system.

"One of the problems particularly with mental health or mental illness problems, many time people that are around the individuals whether they're friends or whether they're family have not identified there's a real problem or the individual has not identified what the problem is," Patton said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services at 269-373-6000 or 888-373-6200, 24 hours a day including weekends and holidays.

A Southwest Michigan crisis line available at all times by calling 269-381-4357

Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide can get help from the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255