By Joe Kemp | New York Daily News
A Pennsylvania woman claimed “crazy voices” told her to sit on her two children in a bathtub — drowning her 3-year-old son and leaving his 6-year-old brother critically injured, police said.
Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, 40, of McCandless — located just north of Pittsburgh — was ordered held without bail after she was arraigned on charges that included criminal homicide, aggravated assault and child endangerment.
Schlemmer was arrested after she called 911 on Tuesday to report that she dragged the two unconscious boys — Luke, 3, and Daniel, 6 — out of the tub.
The deranged woman allegedly told Allegheny County investigators that told the children to take off their pajamas and get into the bathtub after she put her 7-year-old son, who was not named, on a school bus about 8:40 a.m., court papers show.
“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 into the water,” read a criminal complaint. “Schlemmer explained that at one point she (was) sitting on top of the boys while they were under the water in the tub.”
The woman told detectives that she “thought she could be a better mother” to her oldest son “if the other two boys weren’t around,” according to the court documents.
She also believed the to boys “would be better off in heaven.”
After pulling the children from the water, Schlemmer told police she didn’t attempt CPR because she didn’t know how to perform the procedure.
She allegedly tried to hide her wet clothes in a trash bag before paramedics responded to the scene.
Emergency workers rushed the little boys to UPMC Passavant Hospital, where Luke died. His older brother was transferred to a pediatric intensive care unit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC, where he remained in critical condition on Wednesday.
Neighbors said they were stunned to hear the woman killed her child.
“I said hello to her and she seemed fine,” Jennie Leonard, who saw Schlemmer at the bus stop just moments before the tragic ordeal, told WPXI-TV.
“When the kids got on the bus, everybody waved as we always do.”
Court records show that Schlemmer has been in trouble at least once regarding the treatment of her children.
She was given a citation for leaving a toddler unattended in a parked car in Sept. 2009, the paperwork shows. It was not clear which child was left in the car, but cops said the interior of the vehicle reached a sweltering 112 degrees.
The child wasn’t hurt and Schlemmer was ordered to pay a small fine.
With News Wire Services