Friday, May 21, 2021

Mother Faces First Degree Murder Charge for Euthanasia Staff 

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ST. PETERS, Mo. ( -- A St. Charles County woman is charged with murder after investigators say she confessed to killing her daughter before slicing her own throat with a knife. 

On Friday, May 14, Donna Scuderi was in her home in the 200 block of Jody Drive along with her 39-year-old daughter. Her husband, the 39-year-old's father, came home from work and went to the basement to workout, unaware the two were upstairs in the home. 

When he finished, he went to the home's top floor and discovered his daughter in an upstairs bedroom with a plastic bag wrapped around her head. He found his wife in a nearby bathroom unconscious and bleeding. He immediately called 911. 

Police say the 39-year-old was pronounced dead, but EMS personnel discovered Scuderi was still alive, though suffering from heavy blood loss. She was rushed to a hospital for treatment, and officers began attempting to piece together what happened. 

According to court documents, investigators found a black cord wrapped around the daughter's neck and the bag, and several prescription pill bottles were found in the room. Her father said he never heard any sounds of a struggle, and didn't even know the two were in the home until he went upstairs. 

Two days later at the hospital, Scuderi woke up and when asked if she knew why she was at the hospital, she reportedly replied, "euthanasia" before asking how her daughter was and saying "I'm sorry." 

When detectives arrived to speak with her, Scuderi told them she and her daughter had planned to kill themselves, according to the probable cause statement. She said her daughter had been depressed and wanted to die, and so she gave her prescription pills before putting a bag over her head. She reportedly told officers she then used the cord to strangle her daughter to death, but said her daughter was already unconscious before she did so. 

"The evidence is very clear that the victim was alive but unconscious before the ligature was applied, so she was suffocated while alive, therefore she couldn't consciously consent to something," said St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar. "And even if she did, we don't have legal lawful assisted suicide in the state of Missouri." 

Scuderi then attempted to suffocate herself by putting the bag over her own head, but when that failed, she went downstairs to get a pair of knives. She then returned upstairs and stood in front of the bathroom sink, cut her own throat and passed out. 

"The first thing that jumps out at you is what sort of mental health crises were two people going through together for something like this happen?" Lohmar said, calling it something he had never seen in his nine years in office. 

Scuderi faces a first degree murder charge, and is being held on $200,000 cash-only bond. This is the fourth murder in St. Peters in the last six months, though Lohmar stressed Tuesday none of the four were random.