Officials emphasize mental health resources at vigil for Pontiac mother, 2 kids who froze to death

Family says surviving daughter is ‘doing well under the circumstances’

PONTIAC, Mich. – A vigil was held Sunday for the Oakland County mother and two young kids that froze to death in a field earlier this month.

The mother, 35-year-old Monica Cannady, and her sons, ages 9 and 3, were found frozen to death on Jan. 15 in a field on Branch Street in Pontiac.

Cannady was said to be suffering a mental health crisis and told her kids to lie down with her in the field. They died of hypothermia.

Read: Everything we know after mother, 2 young sons freeze to death in Pontiac woods

Family, friends and community leaders gathered at the field Sunday to remember the lives lost.

Faith leaders led the group in prayers, especially praying for Cannady’s 10-year-old daughter, Lillie, who was also in the field, but survived.

Lillie was taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia. Family said she has since been released.

“She’s doing well under the circumstances,” Cannady’s aunt, Rhodesia Cannady, said. “She’s holding up, she’s surrounded by family and lots of love, and just one day at a time that’s all we can ask of her is one day at a time.”

Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel and other elected officials spoke at the vigil, underscoring the importance of mental health resources and awareness.

A GoFundme has been created to help support Lillie. If you are interested in donating to the fundraiser, click here.

Additional coverage:

Also: Oakland County deputy being investigated after incomplete search for mom, 2 sons who froze to death

About the Author:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.