The deaths of Lisa Gibson and her two young children in July have been ruled a case of homicide-suicide.

Winnipeg police made the announcement Thursday at a press conference.

Officers originally responded to a well-being call on July 24, 2013 in the first 100 block of Coleridge Park Drive.

A two-year-old girl and a male infant were found inside the home and later pronounced dead.

Police then asked for the public’s help in finding their mother, Lisa Gibson.

Her body was found three days later in the Red River, south of the Alexander Docks.

Family members had said Gibson had suffered from postpartum depression. Police have not confirmed that publicly.

Police said the case required in-depth investigation, including forensic work.

"Based on the information to date, it has been determined that this matter is a homicide-suicide," said Const. Jason Michalyshen.

Officers won't confirm who found the children inside the home. Police said further assessments into emergency responses are underway.

Police said they're looking into the timeline into the emergency response to the Gibson home, but wouldn't give further details Thursday.

Michalyshen says police will look at "exactly how things played out."

"When there are questions about our response, we need to provide answers. We are going to look into it," said Michalyshen.

The deaths of the two children were Winnipeg's 14th and 15th homicides of the year, said police.

Michalyshen confirmed the children's deaths were "consistent" with drowning, but would not go any further. The head of city's firefighters' union had earlier said the kids were found unresponsive in the bathtub.

Other questions linger about whether Gibson received the help she needed. The Canadian Mental Health Association hopes an inquest into the deaths would provide answers.

"Whatever opportunity we have to drill down and see where the person interacted with the system and were there opportunities to have a different outcome, then I think, that's important," said Nicole Chammartin, executive director.

With the criminal investigation closed, the province's chief medical examiner will decide whether or not he'll call an inquest. A decision is expected sometime this fall.

- with a report from Karen Rocznik and files from The Canadian Press


Where to get help for postpartum mental health issues

  • Talk to your Public Health Nurse
  • Talk to your doctor or midwife. For assistance in finding a family doctor call the Family Doctor Connection Program at 204-786-7111.

For information about resources and supports call the Women’s Health Clinic Mothers Program at 204-947-1517.

If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby or are feeling in crisis:

  • Call Mobile Crisis Service 204-940-1781 (24 Hours)
  • Go to the Crisis Response Centre at 817 Bannatyne Ave (Open 24 hours)
  • Call Klinic Community Health Centre Crisis Line 204-786-8686
  • Call Manitoba Suicide Line 1-877-435-7170 (24 hours).

If you need more information and help finding resources call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 (24 Hours).

More information on postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis is available at the following sites:

(Source: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

Phone support line set up

The Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba also set up a talk line line starting on Sept. 25, staffed with volunteers trained in postpartum education and peer support.

The phone line is staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week at: 204-391-5983