The Plattsmouth mother who disappeared in May with her 10-year-old son used zip ties to kill herself and her son. The bodies of 41-year-old Charlotte Schilling and her son Owen were ultimately found just off a trail at Lake Manawa.
A zip tie is a tough strip of plastic designed with a locking mechanism which is used to bind cables and electrical wires together. Once the zip tie is tightened it cannot be loosened unless it is cut free.
In a news release Council Bluffs police say their investigation found that Charlotte Schilling had tried to kill herself using the same method in November of 2011.
Investigators also say that interviews with friends and associates of Charlotte Schilling revealed a pattern of behavior consistent with those of a person contemplating suicide.
Without being more specific, investigators say evidence located at the scene of the deaths supports this.
The complete autopsy report was not released Monday. Police say the toxicology tests will take several weeks. The whole report may not be finished until mid-to-late June.
Schilling was reported missing May 10th, her body and that of her son were found May 20th not far from the boat ramp at Lake Manawa.
In the early search Plattsmouth police stressed they didn't think she was in any danger but they wanted to make sure she was safe. They said the case was being handled just like a kidnapping would be handled. The FBI was brought in to assist.
Using surveillance tape and other methods police were able to track Charlotte Schillings movements to a convenience store near Lake Manawa and a Kohl's department store in Council Bluffs. Her car was ultimately found at Lake Manawa. Investigators at the time said there were no signs of foul play.
A search was done of the area but the bodies were not discovered until several days later.