LaShanda Armstrong, the 25-year-old Newburgh mother of four who drowned herself and three of her children Tuesday night, posted a message on her Facebook page right before she drove her minivan into the Hudson River, "I’m sorry everyone forgive me please for what I’m gonna do… This is it!!!" Her 10-year-old son Lashaun was able to escape the sinking car and swim to shore, where he was picked up by a Good Samaritan, who said, "He was blaming himself for not teaching them how to swim and for not unbuckling his little sister."

Good Samaritan Meave Ryan added, "It's not your fault, Lashaun. You're courageous." Apparently Lashaun begged his mother to stop as she drove down a boat ramp, "Mommy, Mommy, what are you doing?" His aunt told the News that Lashaun wanted to see the river yesterday, "He wanted to go. He just looked. I gave him his time and he did what he needed to do. He did a big thing there to get out."

Christine Santos, a friend of Lashanda Armstrong, told the Post that Armstrong, who was raising the children by herself, working full-time and taking college classes, was made miserable by Jean Pierre, the father of the deceased children, 5-year-old Landen, 2-year-old Lance, and 11-month-old Lanaina, "He was terrible to her. He was very domineering and controlling over her. He was just so cruel. She just wanted a normal family." Pierre, who was arrested for not paying $11,000 in child support, was trying to get custody of the kids; Santos said, "She kicked him out a few times, but I don't think he cared. He considered himself the only pretty boy in Newburgh and could get any girl he wanted... I know [Pierre's cheating] broke her heart, but she kept it all bottled up. She was a quiet girl, didn't bother anyone."

Armstrong's sister Darice said yesterday that her sister seemed paranoid in recent days, "She was talking to me about how she felt someone was watching her, she felt like there was pages of her diary missing the lights in her house were flickering on and off."