• A woman and her two adult daughters are presumed to have suffocated to death in an apparent suicide pact, police say
  • Authorities found four suicide notes and a partially opened gas cylinder in the family's home
  • All three experienced depression after the mother's husband died of COVID-19 last year

A family of three in New Delhi, India, suffocated to death inside their home in an apparent suicide pact, local authorities said.

Police found the deceased, identified as 54-year-old Manju Devi and her two daughters, Ankita, 30, and Anshika, 26, in their Vasant Vihar residence Saturday evening, the Indian Express reported.

All three were lying on a bed inside a room that had its window panes sealed with foil and tape, according to officers.

Authorities responded to the family's home after a neighbor earlier knocked on the residence but no one answered.

Police found four suicide notes, three small candles, a stove and a partially opened liquid petroleum gas cylinder that was leaking its contents inside the home, deputy police commissioner Manoj C. said.

A "warning" sign with the words "gas chamber" written on it was also taped to the wall of the house, the police official noted.

"Too much deadly gas... carbon monoxide inside. It's flammable. Please ventilate the room by opening the window and opening the fan. Do not light [a] match, candle or anything!" one of the suicide notes read, according to the Hindustan Times.

"Be careful while removing the curtain because [the] room is full of hazardous gas. Do not inhale. Open inside (sic) window from outside," the note added.

Devi and her daughters reportedly suffocated to death after they inhaled toxic fumes from the stove.

All three experienced depression after Devi's husband died of COVID-19 in April last year, the deputy police commissioner said.

Officers investigating the incident believe Devi, who was bedridden due to illness, and her children took their own lives in a suicide pact as the family was responsible for sealing the panes of their room, according to authorities.

It was unclear what substance killed the women, but concentrated levels of carbon monoxide — a gas that can cause poisoning — may have built up inside the room and caused them to suffocate, according to local reports cited by the Hindustan Times. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

A forensic team has since been asked to collect evidence, including fingerprints, at the scene.

In a similar story, a 44-year-old woman in the Indian state of Maharashtra jumped to her death nearly a year ago after she lost her husband to COVID-19.

The woman, identified as former journalist Reshma Trenchil, pushed her 7-year-old son off the 12th floor of their apartment building before jumping off.

Trenchil, whose husband and in-laws died of COVID-19 prior to her suicide, left behind a note that accused her neighbors of harassing her.

Police registered a case of abetment to suicide against the neighbors following Trenchil’s death. A hearing for their case is scheduled to take place in September, the Times of India reported.

India has reported a total of 43,131,822 COVID-19 cases and 524,323 virus-related deaths, according to data provided by the World Health Organization.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Representation. Police in India found four suicide notes, three small candles, a stove and partially opened liquid petroleum gas cylinder inside the home of a family. blickpixel/Pixabay