Heena Solanki, 34, was the mother who used acid to kill herself and her two daughters in April of last year in London. The mom stole the acid substance from a locked cupboard at the school where she worked as a lab technician. She had no prior history of depression and had minor complaints typical of married family life. The grotesque deaths made headlines as a result of first responders being unable to enter the home to recover the bodies due to the smell.
The young girls, Jasmine, 9, and Prisha, 4, were forced to take the acid poison, and all three were found dead together by Solanki’s widower, Kalpesh. The fumes from the acid were so strong that special masks were used. “Prior to her death I believed that Heena was happy and content.We lived a nice life with our two children, Jasmine and Prisha.” The Indian-born mother was a biochemist and easily planned the deaths.
Although there were no signs of depression or mental illness, it is clear that Heena Solanki’s actions were not that of a stable person.”The only thing that I was aware of that made her unhappy was that we lived with my parents. This issue got her down at times but it’s the only issue I can think of.”
It seems that during the hearings and investigations of the events that took place, a friend of Heena, Branali Chambhare, stated that her in-laws were “problematic,” but surely that does not seem like enough reason to kill herself and her children with acid. Detective Sergeant Simon Rogers said officers were called on April 12 last year with initial reports that a third party might have been involved.
The homicide investigation consisted of assessing the fumes and acid. “Because of the chemicals that were present staff were overcome with fumes.”Firefighters with special breathing equipment were able to retrieve three medicine bottles and a suicide note.
Signs of depression are not always obvious. In the case of Solanki, she seemed happy with a family and career. It is difficult to imagine a person being able to hide such drastic plans from loved ones, but it’s clear that Heena hid plenty from her husband, family and friends. WebMD defines depression symptoms as ranging from decreased energy to insomnia and headaches. Very simple changes in a person’s personality and behavior may be sufficient to seek help.
After the bodies were investigated by the coroner, post-mortem examinations confirmed that all three died of substance intoxication. They also died from ligature compression.
(Photo courtesy of BBC News )