McCandless, Pennsylvania, a town just north of the city of Pittsburgh is in shock after a mom attempted to drown two of her children in the bath tub, claiming that “crazy voices” told her to do it. Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, 40, sent her seven-year old son off to school, then proceeded to fill up the tub up with water, telling her three and six-year-old children to take off their pajamas and get in the water.
The story takes a strange turn, as Schlemmer then stated that she entered the tub fully clothed, and sat on the children, forcing them under water, as the alleged “voices” commanded her to do. Schlemmer dragged the unconscious kids from the tub, and then called 911 to report pulling the children out of the water. The disturbed mother told police that she felt she was not being a good mother to her oldest son, and that if they other two boys were not around, she could devote more time to being a good mom to him. She also said she believed that her kids would be better off in heaven.
The Pennsylvania mom who claims voices told her to drown her kids, tried to get rid of the evidence of her involvement in the incident by placing her wet clothes in a trash bag before the paramedics arrived on the scene. Both boys were rushed to the hospital, where the three-year old died, and his older brother was taken to the intensive care unit located in the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is in critical condition.
Many of Schlemmer’s neighbors are in complete shock about the incident, saying that they always perceived her as a normal mom, and one neighbor even said hello to the mother just moments before the incident occurred. According to legal documents, this is not the first time that Schlemmer has run afoul of the law for mistreating her children. In 2009, the mother of three was cited by law enforcement for leaving a toddler unattended in her vehicle, with the interior temperature of the car reaching 112 degrees. Some sources have stated that the deranged woman has also tried to run her children over with her vehicle.
Schlemmer is being held without bail after being arraigned on several charges including aggravated assault, child endangerment, and criminal homicide. The reason for withholding bail is because the state of Pennsylvania does not grant it to individuals who have been charged with criminal homicide. Schlemmer is due in court for a preliminary hearing on April 11.
It appears that the Pennsylvania mother is deeply disturbed and in need of help, seeing as this is not the first time she has attempted to hurt her children. The real question is why, after two very serious incidents that could have killed the children, was something not done to evaluate her mental state? If something more would have been done, would a child still be alive today? Those seem to be questions that will never be answered, but one can only hope that the Pennsylvania mom who claimed voices forced her to try to drown her kids will get the help she needs and that justice will prevail.
By Michael Cantrell