Law enforcement officials are investigating a mother’s role in the 2016 suicide of her daughter in a Bend motel room. Police believe probable cause exists to charge Linda Jonsson with second-degree manslaughter.
Sonja Mae Jonsson, 42, of Depoe Bay, committed suicide Aug. 25, swallowing a large quantity of prescription medication. Her mother, Linda Jonsson, 67, had been staying in the room with her and called authorities after her daughter died.
Bend Police Officer Josiah Pacheco said in a search warrant affidavit filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court that on the day of the suicide, Linda Jonsson told him she observed her daughter take the pills and had dictated a suicide note for her. Pacheco said Jonsson also told police she had given her daughter water to swallow the tablets and four prescription pain pills prescribed to the mother. Jonsson disputes those statements.
Her daughter had intentionally overdosed a week earlier, but Jonsson had called 911 and her daughter was revived at St. Charles Bend.
Police confiscated two laptops from the motel room and were seeking permission to search computer activity for a time frame surrounding both suicide attempts.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel declined The Bulletin’s request for any information related to the case pending the completion of his investigation.
The Jonssons’ story was profiled in The Bulletin on Sunday, and described how Sonja had been cut off from pain medications she took due to a traumatic brain injury suffered years earlier.
On Monday, Linda Jonsson disputed the account in the search warrant affidavit, saying it did not accurately reflect what she had told police that night. She maintains she was not in the motel room when her daughter took the pills but had arrived after her daughter had swallowed the drugs. She said she had allowed Sonja to take four pain pills from her purse but denied providing her daughter with any other pills or the water to swallow them.
Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon for those who have a terminal condition, but only through a formal process involving the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.
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