The woman found dead in Spencer Township the day after Christmas with two young children nearby is a heartbreaking example of what postpartum depression can do to a young mother.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a caller reported they were walking a dog on a trail in the woods east of Lincoln Lake and 18 Mile Road shortly before 10:30 a.m. December 26, when they came upon a car parked back there with the engine running.
Deputies discovered a woman lying on the ground, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her three-year-old daughter was lying partially on top of her. The girl was conscious and alert but suffering from hypothermia. The woman’s 5-month-old son was in a car seat in the car.
AeroMed was called to the scene and transported the children to Spectrum DeVos Children’s Hospital. A bullet fragment was discovered in the three-year-old girl’s head, and she was rushed into surgery, where they removed it.
Police said the woman was reportedly suffering from postpartum depression. Based on the investigation, they believe that the wound to the three-year-old’s head may have been an unintended and accidental consequence of the gunshot that killed the mother.
The woman, identified as Sasha Hettich, 27, went missing on Christmas Day. She lived with her husband and children in Grand Rapids. A gofundme page has been set up for the family to help with household expenses, childcare expenses, and funeral costs. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/sashagr.
If you or a loved one suffers from postpartum depression, there are services available in Kent County. You can call Pine Rest’s pregnancy and postpartum hopeline at 844-MOM-HOPE (844.666.4673); Postpartum Support International at 1.800.944.4773; Spectrum Health Postpartum Emotional Support Program at 616.391.1771; and Network 180 at 800.749.7720. In an emergency call 911.