(WXYZ) — On Sunday afternoon, the bodies of Monica Cannady and her two sons, 9-year-old Kyle Milton and 3-year-old Malik Milton, were found frozen to death in a field in Pontiac.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff, a mental health crisis lead to this heart-breaking discovery.
Cannady's mom, Theresa Milton said it's hard to wrap her head around how her three grandchildren and their mom ended up sleeping in a field where an old housing project used to be.
"My oldest daughter called me and said, you know that is Monica's body they found. And I dropped the phone and my stomach balled up in knots," Milton said.
It's news no one ever wants to hear. Cannady's family has already been through a lot. In November 2021, Theresa's stepson, the father of Cannady's three children, Kyle was murdered. But no one knew the mother of his children was scared and sleeping out in a field.
"If that phone would have rang, I would have been there," Milton said.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says family members were concerned after Monica started acting paranoid in the last few weeks.
"The mom was having a mental health crisis. She believed someone was trying to kill her," Bouchard said.
Authorities say when they tried to get her help but she left with the children and no one could find them. That was on Friday.
Over the last few days reports were coming in of people seeing a mom with children who looked cold. It wasn't until the family's oldest child, a ten-year-old girl, knocked on the door near the old housing complex which is now a field.
"The mom told them to lay down in the field and they all did."
17-year-old Lola Milton is now grieving. Her message to families across metro Detroit who might have family members struggling with their mental health.
"Don't wait until it is too late and your family is wishing you had asked for the help you need," she said.
The Oakland County Sherrif's department says the ten-year-old girl did suffer from hypothermia but is reportedly in stable condition at a local hospital.