Psychiatrist: Mental illness likely behind East Haven mother murder case

DURHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — The LeRoya Moore case may appear to be more common due to the coverage, but it’s actually very rare and rather complicated says the Medical Director of Rushford, a behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facility.

Daaron and Aleisha Moore
Daaron and Aleisha Moore

One word defines what the East Haven mother is accused of doing, killing her son, seven-year-old Daaron, and daughter, six-year-old Aleisha.

“The technical name is filicide,” said psychiatrist Dr. J. Craig Allen. “It’s where a parent kills their child, a complicated issue.”

He says the extremely rare act is commonly linked to an untreated or partially-treated mental illness.

“Typically you’d think of someone who is having a thought disorder, having psychotic symptoms, hearing voices, a voice telling you to do something or having delusional thoughts,” the psychiatrist said.

Investigators say they found a note Moore wrote that was placed close to the feet of her dead children.

“I couldn’t leave any more of my kids to the system. They were in pain and now they’re in heaven,” she wrote. “I prayed and God knows my heart, He made me the way I am and knew we weren’t fit for this world past this time.”

“It appeared that she didn’t feel that she had control over things, that outside folks had responsibility for things going on in her life, and that could take on a paranoid or psychotic dimension,” said Dr. Allen.

Moore is now at a correctional facility in Niantic.

“An assessment is done trying to figure out whether there is an underlying psychiatric diagnosis that may have contributed to this criminal act; that is the primary goal,” said Dr. Allen.

If children ask questions, Dr. Allen advises that parents should stress certain aspects of the case.

“This is extremely rare and comes to our attention because of how terrible and disturbing it is rather than the risk of this kind of behavior poses,” he said.

Dr. Allen points out a case like this one leads to many who want to know how to prevent it from happening in the first place. He says that includes being vigilant for signs and symptoms of mental illness, more thorough state protective agencies, and a better understanding that mental illness is a disease that can be identified, diagnosed, and effectively treated.

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