Mom Throws Her Autistic 6-Year-Old Son Off Bridge After Mental Breakdown

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2014   |   4:16PM   |   Seal Rock, OR

An Oregon mom who apparently had a mental breakdown reportedly threw her 6-year-old autistic son off of a bridge. News reports indicate she couldn’t handle caring for both her son and ailing husband at the same time. Police say they have recovered the body of the boy, 6, whose mother threw him off of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Jillian Meredith McCabe, 34, who lives in Seal Rock Oregon, stands accused of the murder of her son London. After she threw him off the bridge, reports say she contacted police and Newport Police Chief Mark J. Miranda identified the child as London G. McCabe. McCabe has been charged with aggravated murder, murder and first-degree manslaughter.

jennifermccabeMcCabe told emergency dispatchers that she was reportedly hearing voices and that those voices told her to throw her son off the bridge.

“I just threw my son over the Yaquina Bay Bridge,” she reportedly said.

McCabe has been booked into the Lincoln County Jail and, under Oregon law, any person charged with aggravated murder is denied bail until a hearing before a judge. She is expected to have an arraignment today.

“It’s one of these things that you don’t want to happen in a community,” Miranda said. “Unfortunately, sometimes it does and we just have to rely on each other for support at these times.”

Early Monday, 911 dispatchers received a call from a woman who reported that she had thrown her child off the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Police closed the bridge for an hour after getting the report.

Here’s more on what happened:

“We’re all devastated,” Andrew McCabe, London’s uncle, told NBC News. “London was a good kid. He loved hats. And his Dad.”

“She took him for a walk and did what she did,” he added.

Relatives said the once-stable mother suffered a mental collapse in the face of incredible challenges: caring for a non-verbal and autistic child, a health crisis that left her husband fighting for his life, and the death of her father.

“Jillian really struggled with her mental health and I know she was just out of her mind when this happened,” said Tanya McCabe, London’s great-aunt, who led the family effort to obtain psychiatric services for her. She was discharged more than once from inpatient care, she said.

“It was terrible what we went through to get her the help she did get,” she said. “We worked full-time to get her the services but obviously they weren’t sufficient.”

She declined to provide further details, citing privacy concerns. Oregon’s state health agency said it could not comment on an individual patient’s case.
Tanya McCabe said London’s mother had expressed thoughts of harming herself but the family never imagined she would kill her son.

“Jillian was always so patient with him, and loving. She really had a lot of compassion for his condition. When he was screaming at the top of his lungs, which was the only way he could communicate, she didn’t get upset at all. She would calmly comfort him, and I was amazed at how patient she was.

“So this was shocking and heartbreaking.”