Authorities were investigating why Miriam Carey, who lived in Connecticut, turned up in Washington on Thursday. A search warrant application for Carey's car seeks bullet fragments, maps or other documents pertaining to the White House, alcohol or drugs, "and/or evidence of a mechanical malfunction or lack thereof."
A federal law enforcement official said Friday that her mental health appeared to be deteriorating in the last year and that she was apparently under the delusion the president was communicating with her. The official was briefed on the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Her family said she had been suffering from postpartum depression with psychosis but was not dangerous. Carey-Jones said her sister had been on medication for postpartum depression but was being taken off the drugs under medical supervision.
"They told her she could get off medication," Carey-Jones said, adding, "There were no indications she was unstable."
Valarie Carey questioned the characterizations of her sister's mental health and said Miriam Carey "did not believe the president or any government official was going to do her harm."
But interviews with some of those who knew the Stamford, Conn., woman suggested she was coming apart well before she loaded her daughter into the car for the 275-mile drive to Washington. She had suffered a head injury in a fall and had been fired as a dental hygienist about a year ago, her former employer said. Carey's mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News that she began suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth in August 2012 and was hospitalized but had no history of violence.
After Carey rammed the barricades at the White House, police chased her down Constitution Avenue to the Capitol, where she was shot. At one point near the Capitol, police say, she stopped her car abruptly, drove over a median strip and put the vehicle into reverse and refused to stop. She was then shot.
Carey's daughter escaped serious injury and was taken into protective custody. The woman's family hasn't identified the child's father. Gainer said he hasn't seen any indication officers knew the child was in the car when they fired.
How gracious of the Capitol Hill police not to kill the 1 year old daughter. Glad I'm not the guy who suggested that it was okay for her to go off her meds. Or who failed to see this manic episode emerging after treatment of a psychotic depression with antidepressants ("manic conversion").
The Secret Service, by the way, has more trouble from people with bipolar disorder than from people with schizophrenia. [Fein and Vossekuil, 1999, is essential reading on the subject of Secret Service threats.] That "increased goal-directed behavior" feature of mania can get people into all sorts of trouble.