The tragic drowning murder-suicide of a woman and her three children in the Hudson River grows as it turns out her 10-year-old son managed to open a window and climb out of the sinking minivan. But Lashanda Armstrong, 25, allegedly told little Lashaun and his young siblings, ages 11 months to 5 years old, "If I'm going to die, you're going to die with me." Lashaun Armstrong also told the authorities that she grabbed his pants leg, told him, "I made a mistake," and let him go.

Lashaun swam to the shore and was trying to stop drivers on a Newburgh road and, finally, Meave Ryan stopped for him. She told the NY Times, "He was screaming for help. He said, ‘My mommy just drove the car in the water.’" Ryan, who picked up Lance, drove over to the boat ramp to see if she could see the car, and then took Lashaun to the fire department.

Ms. Ryan said that La’Shaun had told her why his mother was so upset. “There was an argument about cheating, that his stepfather was cheating on his mother,” Ms. Ryan said. On the short ride from their apartment in Newburgh to the boat ramp, La’Shaun told Ms. Ryan, his mother had called an older relative and said, “I’m sorry, I’m going to do something crazy, you have to forgive me.”

Ms. Ryan said La’Shaun had told her that the call had ended with the older relative saying she was going to dial 911.

When the authorities found the minivan, Armstrong, 5-year-old Landen Pierre, 2-year-old Lance Pierre, and 11-month-old Lainaina Pierre were all dead.

Armstrong had a tumultuous relationship with the father of the deceased children, Jean Pierre, 26, and apparently the couple just had a vicious fight, which prompted calls to the police, just before Armstrong killed herself and children. The couple didn't live together, leaving Armstrong to raise her four children mostly on her own. The Times Herald-Record says, "Desiree Watson, owner and director of Young & Unique Christian Childcare in Newburgh, said all four of Armstrong's children had attended her program. Armstrong had recently told staff that Pierre was no longer allowed to pick up the children, which he rarely did anyway."

The Times spoke to a friend of Armstrong's, "'From the outside, it looked perfect,' said Sharon Ramirez, 22, a neighbor and friend of Ms. Armstrong. 'But there were a lot of things going on. They had a rocky relationship.' Ms. Ramirez was certain of that because, she said, she had carried on a three-month relationship with Mr. Pierre last year, when Ms. Armstrong was pregnant with Lainaina."