The woman who was fatally shot by police after a high-speed chase that ended in front of the U.S. Capitol was suffering postpartum depression and thought that President Barack Obama had her under electronic surveillance, authorities and family members said Friday.
Miriam Carey, 34, had a record of mental health problems.
Carey worked as a dental hygienist in Stamford, Connecticut.
A former employer, dentist Barry Weiss, told an NBC affiliate in Connecticut that Carey was working for him in 2012 when she fell and suffered a head injury.
Her mother, Idella Carey, told ABC that her daughter had postpartum depression after giving birth in August 2012 and a few months later became ill and was hospitalized.
Idella Carey said her daughter had no history of violence and had no idea why she went to Washington with her 13-month-old daughter.
Investigators have found in Miriam Carey's apartment medication for treating schizophrenia and other mental disorders, CNN said, citing sources close to the investigation.
Carey's boyfriend - and the father of her child - contacted police last December saying he feared for the life of the child, and said at the time that the mother believed her home was under electronic surveillance.
Thursday's incident began when Miriam Carey rammed her car into a security barrier at the White House and ended minutes later near the Capitol after a police chase with several shots fired and two agents wounded.
Carey, who was apparently unarmed, was hit by several bullets and died after being taken to a local hospital.
Authorities believe the incident was no accident, but have dismissed any terrorist motivation and found Carey's child inside the vehicle unharmed.
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Kim Dine, said that after striking the security barrier, Carey ignored the orders of Secret Service agents and continued driving down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol at speeds of up to 112 kph (70 mph).
Videos on television show how, as she approached the Capitol, the woman hit a Secret Service vehicle, continued driving erratically and crashed into a barricade. EFE