ST. PETERS, Mo. — A St. Charles County woman is accused of killing her adult daughter before gravely injuring herself.
Donna Scuderi, 69, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in Laura Scuderi's death. According to the probable cause statement, Scuderi indicated she and her daughter planned to kill themselves together, but police are investigating the death.
The statement from a St. Peters police detective details what Scuderi’s husband said he found when he got home from work Friday — and what Scuderi told investigators from a hospital bed days later.
Scuderi’s husband said he found their daughter’s body in an upstairs bedroom of their home. Means of strangulation, suffocation and multiple pill bottles were in the room with her, according to police.
Scuderi was in a nearby bathroom still alive but suffering from a severe cut to her neck and blood loss. Scuderi was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. She was unconscious for more than a day, police said.
On Sunday, Scuderi woke up and was able to speak to medical staff. Attending nurses told police she asked about her daughter, what was going to happen and said she was sorry.
A St. Peters police detective sat at Scuderi’s bedside to ask her about what happened. The detective said she was able to communicate using “head nods and verbal confirmation.”
Scuderi told the detective that she and her daughter planned to take their own lives. She said she researched suicide. She said she helped her daughter go through with their plan and then harmed herself. An autopsy of the daughter revealed ligature marks around her neck.
Laura Scuderi was 39 years old.
Police said they believe Donna Scuderi intentionally overdosed Laura and then strangled her. In a second interview with an investigator, Scuderi explained that her daughter was unconscious when she strangled her.
Scuderi is being held on a $200,000 cash-only bond and 10% is not allowed.
A neighbor says Donna Scuderi and her husband have lived on Joy Drive for decades.
“They've got one son and one daughter,” said the neighbor.
The allegations have upset the neighbor so that she asked 5 On Your Side to not reveal her name.
“It is so sad for me. Yes, it’s hard to believe, “ the neighbor added.
The woman says on Friday police reviewed video from her surveillance camera for possible evidence.
The neighbor watched officers comb the scene from her front porch.
“I saw two ambulances and about six, seven police cars then we just kept wondering what was going on?” the neighbor said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or thinking of suicide, help is available 24 hours a day through several hotlines. Use the numbers below or click the links for more information.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)