At Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California, a distraught mother, threw her 7-month old baby boy off the 4th story parking garage. He lived for two days and he passed from his injuries. The mother was found immediately after a witness gave a description of the vehicle and security cameras were looked at for the license tag on the car.
The family says, she had been in and out of the hospital for postpartum depression. She evidently was out of the hospital during this brief time, took the little boy and the family car and went to the hospital. After throwing her son off the garage, she walked into the hospital and asked for her parking ticket to be validated.
Does this sound like a murder?? It does on appearances, but it brings back for me a similar crime that occurred in Oklahoma City with my friend, Candy. Candy had her first baby and had been very active in her professional career prior to the baby’s birth. I had gone to college with her husband and we both had majored in Journalism.
A few weeks before Candy took her life and that of her baby’s by tossing her son off from the 7th floor parking garage, and then jumping herself, I had spoken to her and she wanted to come back to work. I was getting ready to change jobs and I told her I would put in a good word for her so she could apply for my job. That seemed to brighten her spirits.
I said, Candy, are you ready to come back to work? The baby is so little? She replied,” I don’t think this mother thing is for me, and the baby will be fine.
Not knowing that she had been under a doctor’s care, I did not relay that conversation to her husband, although, I wish now I had. I don’t think it would have changed her mind, but it might have helped her husband to know her mind was still not back to normal.
The morning Candy went to downtown OKC, her husband Jim, had someone with her everyday for months. This one morning, he had a client appointment 90 miles away. He left that morning, and said later that Candy was happy and urged him to do what he needed to do. He thought she might be coming back to her old self, since she appeared upbeat.
I had just started my new job with a large adverting agency in OKC, and my boss and I were discussing our plans for the day. All of a sudden she asked me if I knew Candy? Yes, I said, Why?
My boss, Joyce, then said the words that still haunt me, “Candy threw her son off the parking garage in downtown, OKC and then jumped right behind him!”, my boss had just heard it on her office radio and they had just identified her from the contents of her purse.
She did leave a note for Jim, it said that she felt she wasn’t a good mother, and that there was something seriously wrong with her, and that the baby had it too. She didn’t want to go on with her life.
Candy had postpartum depression the doctors announced after her death. I will never forget her warm infectious smile and her cheerful demeanor. She was the last person I would expect to take the life of her son and then her own.
I do not know if this mother who threw her baby off the parking garage at Children’s Hospital had postpartum depression, only the doctors know that, but I do know we need to treat postpartum depression and not prosecute these women. They are not in their right minds when they do these terrible deeds.
As much as I love children and babies, if a mother has postpartum depression, we need to give her all the help that she requires to insure her safety and that of her child or children. We have to look at Andrea Yates in Texas who took the lives of all five of her children, and she too had postpartum depression.
Hospitals and laws need to be changed to allow these women the time they need to heal. Too often hospitals have to dump patients because insurance has run out or they can only hold them on a 72-hour hold, but if we change the laws to show that if a woman suffering from postpartum depression needs more time, she should be allowed the time needed to get well.
- Postpartum may be at play in infant boy’s death (mercurynews.com)
- Mom in baby-dropping case on suicide watch (msnbc.msn.com)
- Baby dropped from parking structure: Father defends wife (latimesblogs.latimes.com)