55-year-old Michele Boudreau Deegan was discovered dead inside her Washington state home a month ago after a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
And according to police, the incident caused discord throughout Whatcom County, leaving neighbors as well as friends, distraught.
But it was not just due to Boudreau Deegan’s apparent suicide which happened on the night of October 23. Next to the mother’s body, police also discovered the bodies of her 7-year-old twin daughters, who appeared to have been shot before their mother turned the gun on herself.
And now, friends of the former therapist are sharing new details about her final days. Mike Mitchell, 63, says he had been close friends with the mother.
Mitchell reportedly rented a room inside a multi-level home Boudreau Deegan owned in Sudden Valley. And due to their living situation as well as Boudreau Deegan’s lifelong work as a mental health therapist — the two often discussed life, love, and loss.
But on one evening last month, their conversation went to a dark place. Mitchell recently told The Daily Beast it was a normal Thursday night when Boudreau Deegan suddenly brought up thoughts of suicide.
In addition to treating others who were batthling with their mental health, Boudreau Deegan also made it known that she too suffered from intense bouts of depression.
And as the custody battle with her twins’ father was raging on, she was in a vulnerable state last month.
Mitchell said that Boudreau Deegan made it clear she was upset over a recent court decision, which led her to be fearful of losing her kids. And living without them would not truly be living, which led her to think of death as an option.
“You know your girls would never be better off without you,” Mitchell reminded her. “Even if worst comes to worst and he gets full custody, they’re still not going to be better without you.” To which she responded: “Oh, I would never leave my girls.”
Mitchell registered her response at the time as Boudreau Deegan not seriously considering suicide. But looking back, he worries he misread the conversation.
Mitchell discovered the bodies on October 24 just after 1 p.m. — only two days after he had the difficult conversation. He climbed the stairs to the mother’s bedroom.
He had not seen her or her girls in about 24 hours, which was not the norm. But when Mitchell opened the door to her bedroom, the truth about what had happened was made clear before his very eyes.
Boudreau Deegan lay dead on the floor, with a gunshot wound in her head. Her daughters lay face down in a bed nearby — also dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
“My mind just went a billion different places,” he told The Daily Beast. “I pretty much just lost it for a while. I ran back downstairs because I knew that they were all gone.”
After the police arrived, they confirmed that Boudreau Deegan and her daughters were deceased. Mitchell later discovered from investigators that the mother had sedated both of her daughters before shooting them with a handgun — and used the last bullet on herself.
Many other friends were shocked by the news as well yet also acknowledged the tension caused by the divorce.
“I know that Michele couldn’t let go,” Roxanna Valdovinos, 47, revealed to the news outlet. Valdovinos claimed to have worked with Boudreau Deegan intermittently for many years in the early 2000s but later began seeing her for personal therapy sessions.
Valdovinos indicated that a bit of the mother’s stress may have come from her ex-husband’s new relationship.
“You know at some point in a divorce and if he gets another partner and everything and you don’t really agree with his parenting, you have to kind of let it go and let your kids run a certain amount of risk, and have faith in God or fate or something that things will turn out OK or that you’ll be there to help if they don’t,” Valdovinos said.
But Boudreau Deegan did not subscribe to that approach.
“I think she lost that,” Valdovinos shared. “She lost that belief that things were going to be OK in the end, that he was a good enough parent.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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