McKEESPORT, Penn. — A 7-year-old girl went to school and told an adult that someone was wrong with her parents, leading officials to make a grisly discovery at the child's home.
The bodies of Christopher Dilly, 26, and Jessica Lally, 25, were found inside their Pennsylvania home about 5 p.m. Monday, WPXI reports.
Police said there was no foul play involved. They suspect the couple died of a drug overdose.
Lally's sister said she tried months ago to get help for the couple's four children.
"My sister wasn't the person she became when it came to drugs. She wasn't the person I knew. It was like the drugs had taken over and at first we didn't know it was heroin," Courtney Lally said.
"She loved her kids -- she did. She loved her mom, she loved me, she loved us."
She said it was heartbreaking to learn her young niece readied herself for the day, went to school and told someone something was wrong with her mom and dad.
"That's like the hardest thing because that's a 7-year-old," Courtney Lally said. "That's a 7-year-old that did that."
Three other children -- 9 months, 3 and 5 years old-- were also living in the home, according to WPXI. They were all taken to a hospital to be evaluated and will be placed with Allegheny County Children Youth and Families, authorities said.
Courtney Lally said she had been trying to get police and CYF involved since February. She called police and sent them photos of the deplorable conditions in which her sister and Dilly were living with their children.
Courtney Lally said her sister became furious and moved her family to McKeesport.
"I feel like if I wouldn't have done that, it would have been way different and we could have made up months ago, and she'd be here today," Lally said.
Lally said she plans to go to court to get custody of her nieces and nephews. She and her mother will be at a hearing on Wednesday to try to get temporary custody of the children.
To others who are helping loved ones fight addiction, she has a message.
"Just don't stop trying. Keep pushing it. Make them understand you love them and you're doing this because you love them," she said.
Neighbors said they didn’t notice anything unusual at the couple's home.
“They were acting normal. No indications. Nothing,” neighbor Jordon McCallister said.
The McKeesport School District issued the following report about the incident:
"Our school district took immediate action after we were notified of the concerns shared by one of our students on their route home. We alerted all appropriate officials and ensured the students' safety. Each school in our district offers counseling to any student who needs it. We will be available for the family affected by this tragedy."
Though overdose is the suspected cause of death, an official cause and manner had not been ruled as of Tuesday. Autopsies will be conducted, the medical examiner said.