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Mother Shoots Handicapped Daughter, Then Pair Are Run Over on Freeway

November 5, 1991

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) _ A woman shot her handicapped 4-year-old daughter in the head alongside a Southern California highway, then lay down with the girl on the road, where they were run over by a passing vehicle, police said Tuesday.

Stacy Phan, 32, was found dead late Monday on the Garden Grove Freeway with the slain girl, Dianna, who was mentally and physically handicapped and blind.

It wasn’t known if the girl died from the .22-caliber gunshot wound or as a result of being struck by the vehicle, said Sgt. Doug Morrill. An autopsy was pending.

″We are handling it strictly as a murder-suicide,″ Morrill said. ″There was no note, but over the past three months she had told family members that she was contemplating suicide and that she was going to take her daughter with her.″

The woman’s husband was asleep at their home in Garden Grove when she drove six miles to the freeway and stopped by the side of the road.

″That night, she said she was going to commit suicide but nobody took her seriously,″ Morrill said. ″She’s been despondent over her daughter, who was retarded and blind, for quite a while.″

The car that hit them didn’t stop, and the driver may not have known what the vehicle struck.

″The driver must have realized he hit something, but it is a rather dark area of the freeway and he might have thought he hit a carpet roll or something,″ Morrill said.