Two young sisters who were found dead on Christmas Day after their mother reported them missing — and authorities appear to believe the girls’ father is responsible for their deaths.
CTV News reports that police found the bodies of six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry in Oak Bay, British Columbia, on the night of December 25. The girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton, had reportedly called the police when her estranged husband, Andrew Berry, did not return their daughters to her on Monday afternoon per their agreement.
Authorities reportedly found Berry with unspecified self-inflicted injuries at the Oak Bay home. He is currently being treated at a hospital, and while police told CTV News that the girls’ father not currently in their custody, they are reportedly investigating the deaths as a possible attempted double murder-suicide.
Investigators have not released the girls’ cause or manner of death.
According to the Times-Columnist, Berry and Cotton had battled in court over the father’s overdue child support payments. Friends told the newspaper that Berry had been struggling financially.
CTV News reports that Cotton had raised concerns in court about Berry’s fitness as a parent and detailed his past aggressive behavior towards her. In 2013, after Berry allegedly attacked her, pinning her to a bed, he was arrested and Cotton was granted a restraining order against him.
Cotton’s friend Tricia Lees told the Times-C0lumnist that the grieving mother is getting support from friends and family.
“The girls were very joyful and that comes from Sarah. They have Sarah’s spirit,” Lees said.
“Sarah’s an amazing mother. She dedicated her life to those girls. They were a very tight-knit family. Sarah is a very caring and hands-on kind of mother.”