By Travis M. Andrews
The Washington Post
“Ya kids ain’t safe here I don’t want them here,” read one text, later followed by, “So you better pray for your kids.”
The “kids” were 17-month-old Andre Price III and 2-year-old Angel Price. The person sending the messages was their mother, 21-year-old Christian Clark.
She was texting the children’s father.
On Wednesday, Clark was charged with killing 17-month-old Andre and attempting to kill his 2-year-old sister Angel, the AP reported.
“She was sending [messages] before the act, at the time of the act and following the act,” Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It began on Tuesday.
Clark and the children’s father, Andre Price Jr., sometimes lived together in McKeesport, Pa., a city outside Pittsburgh. The couple had been together earlier in the day, but Price had left for work at about 2:30 p.m.
The children were left in Clark’s care.
By 8:25 p.m., though, she grew restless wondering why Price hadn’t returned to the house. She wondered if he was having an affair and in a text message “accused Price of cheating on her with another woman,” police wrote in an affidavit obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Her texts grew more and more ominous throughout the night before becoming outright threatening — the Post-Gazette and the Associated Press obtained the transcript.
“Ya kids ain’t safe here I don’t want them here.”
“So you better pray for your kids.”
“Answer me or im going to jail for child endangerment.”
“Ima kill them watch.”
She further grew enraged, she told police during an interview, when “one of the children took a block, filled it with toilet water, and poured it on the floor.”
Price finally responded less than an hour later at 9:19 p.m., telling Clark that he wouldn’t be coming back to the house. He told her to leave the kids be, but this seemingly only served to ignite her fury even more.
“Im killing them,” she texted him, adding an emoji of a face laughing so hysterically, tears are falling from the character’s eyes.
Then her messages took a horrible, gut-wrenching turn.
After Price told Clark, “I’ll get [off] the last bus for you okay,” she again accused him of cheating. And then she sent him the first picture.
It showed 2-year-old Angel on the bed, a pillow covering her small face.
Then she sent the second photo: it showed 17-month-old Andre III lying face-down on an air mattress, his face buried in the comforter.
“I don’t love them,” she texted.
By this point, the Post-Gazette reported, Price had stopped responding.
Perhaps in an effort to get him to react, Clark’s messages grew ever more erratic and terrifying.
She began sending him videos, rather than words and pictures. One video showed the kids lying down on the bed. The next one showed her roughly grabbing her children, one by one. Angel began sobbing as Clark pulled on her head. Andre III, on the other hand, didn’t move at all. Instead, he just hung limply.
“First of all she is clearly fine, because watch, see she is not dead,” Clark said in the video. “Him on the other hand, he doesn’t budge. So you might want to call the ambulance.”
Minutes later she texted him, “All cus you wanted to go [have sex with] her & come here when you like.”
This, finally, prompted Price to respond with, “I’m just not going to reply no more if you wanna go to jail you know what to do.”
To which Clark texted, “Lol guess he’ll be in here rotting away.”
At some point, Clark admitted to smothering Andre III by shoving his head into the air mattress for a full minute.
“Im sure it’ll hurt me one im sitting in jail & you got all the evidence you need to I can’t even say he suffocated in his sleep or say idk what happened,” she told Price.
The texts ended at 11 p.m. The last ones came when Price told Clark to wake the child after she sent him a third video showing her throwing Andre III’s limp body onto the bed.
“It’s okay im dialing 911,” Clark said.
“You need to if he dead,” Price texted.
“I am,” Clark responded, adding. “Sorry I did this … i didn’t mean to.”
At 11:13, Clark called 911 — something Price never did. An ambulance took both children to UPMC McKeesport. Andre III was pronounced dead within a half hour, the Post-Gazette reported. Angel seemed to be fine, police said.
“It just goes to show how texts have become such a routine part of our lives that people don’t even realize the nature of what they’re communicating,” McDonough told the AP.
No charges are expected to be leveled against Price, but the investigation is continuing, the AP reported.
Clark has been jailed without bond at the Allegheny County Jail, WTAE reported. She has a preliminary hearing on Nov. 16. It is unclear if she has a lawyer, though one is not listed in online court records.