The Long Island mom charged with murdering her twin toddler daughters had a history of mental illness and begged officers to shoot her when she was found in a Montauk park, police and court documents alleged Friday.
Tenia Campbell, 24, had been “hysterical” when she was patched into a 12-minute call with a 911 dispatcher Thursday afternoon, Suffolk County Police officials said at a press conference.
Campbell allegedly told the operator her 2-year-old daughters Jasmine and Jaida “were already deceased,” and she refused to give her whereabouts.
Police jumped into action, using “telephonic GPS” to track Campbell’s location with the hope it wasn’t too late to save all members of the tragic trio, police said.
When they finally found Campbell standing near the entrance to the Montauk County Park Third House Nature Center, she started “screaming at officers to shoot her,” police said.
Officers found the twins still tucked in their car seats in Campbell’s nearby minivan, suffering from cardiac arrest at the end of the frantic 90-minute manhunt.
They attempted resuscitation, but the girls were pronounced dead at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, authorities said.
Campbell’s mother told police her daughter had “a very long history of mental disorders,” was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder as a teen and battled depression and anxiety, documents obtained by the Daily News revealed.
It was around 2 p.m. Thursday that Campbell first called her mom, Vanessa McQueen, 48, and confessed she had killed her girls, the mom’s statement to police that was filed in court said.
“I killed them with my bare hands,” Campbell allegedly told her mother.
“All Tenia would say was that it’s too late. I killed my babies and now I have to be with them,” McQueen told police. “At one point she said she was going to find the ocean and walk into it and drown so she could be with her babies in heaven.”
A neighbor said Campbell was facing eviction from the apartment she shared with the girls, and a man who identified himself as her landlord said a court date for the matter was set for July 10.
The neighbor, Aleshia Pike, said the Medford mom had been living at the property at least six months and was “struggling” to stay afloat, working long hours as a home health aide.
“Jasmine and Jaida’s lives were cut short in the most tragic way imaginable,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said at the Friday press conference. “The girls had no outward signs of trauma and autopsies will be performed today to determine the exact cause of death,” Hart said.
“This is a tough day,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “Yesterday was something you cannot be prepared for, a scene that you cannot imagine.”
Campbell also is the mother of a 4-year-old son who was found safe Thursday in the care of his father, authorities said.
She was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and covered her face as she was escorted by police in handcuffs, according to video obtained by WPIX 11.
Campbell was due for arraignment Friday at East Hampton Town Justice Court.