A McCandless, Pa. mother of three was arraigned on April 2 after she told police that she heard "crazy voices" telling her to sit on her two youngest children and drown them in the bathtub.
Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, 40, of McCandless, Pa. -just north of Pittsburgh- was charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and child endangerment, after her three-year-old son Luke died in the bathtub from drowning, according to USA Today.
Schlemmer’s six-year-old son, Daniel, barely survived the ordeal and is hospitalized in critical condition.
The mom told investigators that she tried drowning her two youngest boys immediately after seeing her seven-year-old son safely off to catch the school bus on Tuesday morning.
After her oldest son caught the bus, Schlemmer went back inside her home and told the two younger children to take off their pajamas and get into the bathtub.
According to the police complaint:
"Schlemmer said after the boys got into the tub she got into the tub 'fully clothed' and 'crazy voices' were telling her to push the boys down into the water."
“Schlemmer explained that at one point she (was) sitting on top of boys while they were under the water in the tub."
The detectives said Schlemmer went on to explain she "thought she could be a better mother" to the oldest boy "if the other two boys weren't around and they would be better off in heaven."
After sitting on the boys in the tub and holding them underwater, Schlemmer dragged them both out of the tub, laid them on the bathroom floor and dialed 911. She didn't attempt CPR, and later informed police that “she did not know how to do it.”
The father of the children was at work during the drowning and attempted drowning, according to WPXI.
Other tell-tale signs that something may have been amiss with Schlemmer and her kids include a police report from 2009 when cops were called to investigate a toddler left unattended in a parked car.
Court records don't indicate which child was in the car, but police said the car's interior was 112 degrees when officers arrived. The child wasn't injured and Schlemmer paid a small fine, according to court papers.
Last year, two of her children ended being rushed to the hospital after Schlemmer “said she accidentally ran them over” with the family van. At the time, police considered it an accident. No charges were filed.
Pennsylvania’s State Department of Public Welfare will be conducting an investigation to try and determine whether or not any of the state agencies could have prevented Tuesday’s tragedies.
For more on the heartbreaking story of Laurel Michelle Schlemmer and her innocent children, see the video accompanying this article.
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