MANCHESTER — The woman who says she is the mother of the 1-year-old girl who died in a Manchester hotel on Monday said on social media that she was staying at the hotel because of housing issues and she wants to be left alone to grieve the loss of her younger daughter.
In a sometimes angry, sometimes distraught post, Tehya Marie Charbonneau said she entrusted the 1-year-old to “someone who helped me take care of my children for the last 6 months.” The baby’s lifeless body was rushed to the hospital Monday night, where she was pronounced dead. In an earlier post on social media, Charbonneau said she was walking home from work when her baby died.
Manchester police have labeled the baby’s death suspicious, and the death is under investigation by police and the Hillsborough County Attorney. An autopsy was unable to find an immediate cause of death and no arrests have been made.
Charbonneau has weathered a storm of criticism — but also support — on social media after she identified herself as the girl’s mother shortly after the girl’s death.
Attempts to reach Charbonneau were not successful.
Charbonneau changed her Facebook profile picture to an image of her nose-to-nose with a baby and wrote a caption: “The things I would do for just one more Eskimo kiss from you.”
Critics on Facebook have questioned why she was staying at a hotel where authorities are often called for overdoses and to make arrests. They have questioned her posting on social media. And they have questioned why she put her two children in the care of another.
“I was staying at the hotel because of housing issues. Not drug issues, thank you everyone,” she wrote, noting the Econo Lodge is one of the cheapest hotels in Manchester.
Meanwhile, the Union Leader has determined that Tehya is the stepdaughter of Missy Charbonneau, the Manchester woman who died 10 years ago this month in a murder-suicide. Missy Charbonneau’s estranged husband, Jonathan, killed Missy and shot her father twice before running off and eventually taking his own life. The murder took place a day after Missy took out a restraining order on her husband.
Every year, Missy Charbonneau’s father, John Cantin, sponsors MissysHope5K, a road race to raise money for the YWCA Crisis Service Center. This year’s race is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Manchester. Cantin has become an advocate for victim rights in the state.
Tehya was the daughter of Jonathan and Angela Charbonneau, according to a woman who answered the door at Cantin’s Manchester home. Missy was raising Tehya and considered Tehya her own, according to newspaper articles at the time of her death.
Tehya’s Facebook page said she attended Job Corps and works as a health insurance specialist. She listed her children as 2½ years and 16 months old, according to the Facebook page.
In January, she made a plea on GoFundMe. Charbonneau said she had left a relationship and was a single mother of two.
Charbonneau said she lost her job because she did not have a reliable babysitter and took too much time off work to care for her children. Her van had just been repossessed and she was on the verge of losing her house, she said.
“I’m trying so hard. I’ve hit rock bottom and need help getting back up again,” she wrote.
She was seeking $3,000; no one gave a donation.
In her recent Facebook post, Charbonneau lashed out, writing that only she and the baby’s father know about the investigation and the details.
“Everyone needs to just shut their ... mouths and mind their … business so we can grieve the loss of our child in … peace! Are you paying for her funeral? No! Did it affect your life? Didn’t ... think so either!” she wrote
Authorities have said they were called to the hotel just before 6 p.m. The fire department log lists a patient as “out of the water” and in cardiac arrest. The baby was pronounced dead at Catholic Medical Center.
The state medical examiner is awaiting toxicology and other tests before issuing a determination on how she died.
Authorities investigating suspicious deaths usually provide the name of the victim after an autopsy. County Attorney Michael Conlon said he will not release the name of the child until a determination is made about how she died.