Report: Woman was dental hygienist, suffered from postpartum depression

The woman killed by police following a tense high-speed pursuit near Capitol Hill was a Connecticut dental hygienist who may have suffered from postpartum depression, according to media reports. 

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Miriam Carey, 34, died in a hail of bullets Thursday after leading police and the Secret Service on a dramatic chase from the White House to the Capitol. 

According to The Washington Post, Carey had her 1-year-old daughter with her in the backseat of a black Infiniti as she first rammed a barricade near the White House, then roared up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. 

Police did not immediately confirm the driver’s identity. 

But ABC News quoted the woman’s mother, Idella Carey, as saying her daughter became depressed after giving birth last August to a baby girl, Erica. 

"She had postpartum depression after having the baby" Idella Carey said, according to ABC. “A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed. ... She was hospitalized.”

The child survived the car chase and crash. 

The Post quoted Miriam Carey’s sister, Amy, as saying she couldn’t believe the woman who sparked panic in the nation’s capital was her sister. 

“That’s impossible. She works, she holds a job,” Amy Carey said. “She wouldn’t be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her.”

Thursday’s episode began shortly after 2 p.m. at the west end of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, where Carey smashed a black car into a barricade near the White House. 

Carey fled east on Pennsylvania Avenue at high speeds, driving erratically, authorities said.  

She collided with a police vehicle near 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NW, where the officers opened fire on the car.

Carey again evaded police, driving east on Constitution toward the Hart building, where she was killed. 

Thousands of people, including scores of members of Congress, were ordered to take shelter as the incident unfolded.