A Pittsburgh-based married mother of three is accused of killing her 3-year-old son by holding him underwater in the family’s bathtub, and attempting to murder her 6-year-old in the same manner. Her horrifying actions came after she reported “hearing crazy voices” that told her that her sons would be better off dead.
Reports UPI on April 2:
A police complaint said that Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, 40, of McCandless, told detectives “crazy voices” spoke to her. She also allegedly said she thought she would do a better job with her oldest son, 7, while the 6-year-old and toddler would be “better off in heaven.”
According to police reports, after walking her oldest son to the bus stop, the western Pennsylvania mom returned home with 3-year-old Luke Schlemmer and his 6-year-old brother Daniel Schlemmer, and told them to undress and get in the bathtub. Mark Schlemmer, Laurel’s husband and father of the boys, was at work.
Laurel said the voices told her to push her sons underwater and to sit on them. She did, killing her youngest boy, but the older son managed to escape.
The Huffington Post picks up the story:
Word that the two little boys were found unresponsive stunned neighbors in the quiet, upscale bedroom community a few miles north of Pittsburgh. They described the family as religious and said Schlemmer was a stay-at-home mom… Nobody returned a message left on the home's voicemail early Wednesday. The greeting featured a female voice telling callers to have a "blessed day."
UPI says Schlemmer “pleaded guilty in 2009 to leaving a toddler in a hot car for 20 minutes at a shopping mall.”
Neighbor Bob Majersky said he would often see the family playing outside.
“I just saw them yesterday playing ball in the yard,” Majersky said.
Laurel was jailed without bond and arraigned today on charges including criminal homicide, aggravated assault and child endangerment.