Police confirmed that a body pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River was that of Lisa Gibson, the mother of two children who died four days earlier. But there remain many unanswered questions about the three deaths, which appeared to stem from an incident in the family’s home.
“The investigation remains open and continues by members of our homicide unit,” Constable Eric Hofley told reporters on Sunday. “There’s been a lot of speculation out there in the media and in the public. However, investigators have to ensure that every possible avenue has been followed up.”
Ms. Gibson’s family is requesting privacy, Constable Hofley added.
Ms. Gibson, 32, had been missing since Wednesday when her two young children were found in critical condition inside their house. The two-year-old girl and three-month-old boy were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Ms. Gibson was the last person to be with the children, police said, but they did not label her a suspect, and would only say they were concerned for her well-being. By Friday, a dive team was searching the Assiniboine River near the family’s home. Her body was found Saturday downstream, not far from where the Assiniboine empties into the Red.
There are media reports Ms. Gibson suffered from postpartum depression, and that the children were found in a bathtub inside the home. Police said autopsies have been conducted, but would not release details.
“At this point, the results of those autopsies have to be fully looked at by those investigators to determine if perhaps there are some other explanation as to the cause of this incident,” Constable Hofley said.
“It has been speculated that Ms. Gibson is responsible for this, but until all the evidence has come forward, officers need to be aware and not rule out any possibility that perhaps someone else is responsible.”
Ms. Gibson’s open Facebook page, which has since been restricted, was full of happy pictures of her children, Anna and Nicholas. The page included a family photo that appeared to be taken at a hospital shortly after the birth of Nicholas in April, along with a proud birth announcement.
The last posting was mid-June – a picture of Anna with the caption reading: “Man I love this kid.”
The page also included a picture of Ms. Gibson’s husband, Brian, who was not at home at the time of the deaths.