Entries in Mother (43)


Mother of Three Girls Killed in Taconic Crash Is Pregnant

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two years ago, Jackie Hance lost everything when all three of her daughters died in a gruesome wrong-way car crash on New York's Taconic Parkway. But today, she is pregnant again after undergoing in vitro fertilization in a twist of fate that she says came from a dream about her beloved daughters.

Hance, 40, of Floral Park, N.Y., announced her pregnancy just as HBO is ready to air its own documentary, Something's Wrong With Aunt Diane, on the drunk-driving accident.

The girls were killed on their way home from a camping trip in upstate New York when their aunt, Diane Schuler, 36, drove 70 mph down the wrong side of the parkway for two miles before slamming her SUV head-on into another vehicle.

Toxicology reports showed that Schuler's blood alcohol level was twice the limit -- the equivalent of 10 shots of vodka -- and she was high on marijuana.

Just minutes before the deadly crash, Hance's daughter, Emma, had called her mother to say, "Something's wrong with Aunt Diane."

Hance's girls, Emma, 8; Alyson, 7; and Katie, 5, as well as Schuler and her 2-year-old daughter Erin died instantly. Three men in the other vehicle also died, a total of eight people. The only survivor was Schuler's son Bryan, 5.

"Parenting is not something you can ever let go of, even if your children are gone," Hance wrote in the Ladies Home Journal this week.

Hance is expecting her baby in September. But psychologists say having a baby too soon after the death of a child is no panacea for grief.

Hance writes that her friends persuaded her to have another child as a way of coping with the "torture" that she has felt since her girls died, unable even to cook because it reminds her of her daughters' excitement at mealtime.

"After the accident so many people suggested that Warren and I consider having another child. They said having a baby was what the girls would want and it would give us a future," she writes.

When a child dies, many parents have a "natural urge" to have another, according to Katherine Shear, professor of psychiatry and social work at Columbia University who specializes in complicated grief.

"A lot of parents do wish to have another child to come to terms with the loss," she said. "After they've accepted the loss, it's a very natural part of life and can be a very healing thing to do."

"When they do this, it's usually with a little bit of sadness and trepidation even when they know it's the right thing for them, and I don't think we should judge them," she said. "When they make that decision, it's a hard one to make and we should primarily support them."

Other psychologists say that having another child so quickly after such a tragic loss can compound the devastation, leaving the grief process unresolved. The pain felt by bereaving parents is one of the most intense of all sorrows and the most complicated.

Hance said that she had her tubes tied after having her third child, but decided to do IVF after a doctor offered the procedure after hearing her story.

She said her daughters came to her in a dream: "I was standing in heaven and I could see Emma, Alyson, and Katie through these big gates. God would not let me inside the gates. He said that I had been given a gift from that doctor and I had to use his gift before I could be with my babies."

Dr. Richard Paulson, director USC Fertility in Los Angeles, said that having another child can sometimes fulfill the dreams of a complete family.

"It's not a replacement child, it's a reconstituted family," said "Because that person is gone, you don't replace that person," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Schwarzenegger Scandal: Don't Believe Lies, Mom's Lawyer Says

Lee Celano/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- An attorney for the woman who had a secret child with Arnold Schwarzenegger says what you've heard about his client is totally false.

Mildred Baena's attorney, Michael Saltz, tells ABC News that people who have claimed to know his client have actually had little contact with her, if any. Many of those who have spoken to the media about her and the situation, Saltz says, are people who have been estranged from Baena for years.

Saltz tells ABC News that the MySpace page on which pictures and details about his client were found is not her own, and that it was constructed and maintained by someone else.

Baena and her son are in hiding, her lawyer tells ABC News, and the woman has pulled her son out of school.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


California Girl Injected with Botox Removed from Mom's Custody

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A California mother has lost custody of her 8-year-old daughter after she injected the girl with botox in preparation for a beauty pageant.

A person with knowledge of the situation told ABC News that the girl, Britney, is doing well but did not offer more detail on the ongoing investigation into the girl's mother, Kerry Campbell.

On Friday, the San Francisco Human Services Agency launched an investigation into Campbell after she admitted to ABC’s Good Morning America that she injected botox into her daughter's face to help her in beauty pageants.

"It's pretty unusual for a mom to be injecting an 8-year-old with botox and certainly is grounds for an investigation," said Trent Rohrer of the San Francisco Human Services Agency on Friday.

Campbell and daughter Britney, appeared on Good Morning America last week defending the 8-year-old pageant contestant's use of botox.

"I just, like, don't, like, think wrinkles are nice on little girls," Britney said.

Britney admitted it hurt to get the injections on her face, but said she was used to the pain.

The admission sparked an uproar online, in the medical community and by child advocates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Police Say Mother Drove into New York River, Drowning Herself and Three Children

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEWBURGH, N.Y.) -- A New York mother drove her minivan into the Hudson River Tuesday night, drowning herself and three of her children on board, according to police.

Authorities said the mother drove the vehicle off a dock in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City.  When rescue teams later recovered the van from the river, all the victims -- the mother, her two sons, ages 5 and 2, and her 11-month-old daughter -- were found dead inside.  Their names have not yet been released.

According to the Times Herald-Record, Newburgh officials were alerted to the incident by a 10-year-old boy, who they believe was the woman's fourth child and let out of the vehicle before it submerged.  The newspaper says the boy appeared at a nearby fire station and told firefighters what had happened.

Earlier, police had responded to a report of a domestic dispute.  They believe it may be linked to the incident, the newspaper reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Massachusetts Mom Accused of Killing Daughter in Exorcism

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NANTUCKET, Mass.) -- A Massachusetts mom is accused of killing her three-year-old daughter by stuffing roses down her throat in an exorcism to remove the demons inside the girl, according to court documents.

Dora Alicia Tejada Pleitez, 26, was arrested Tuesday in connection with her daughter's death.  She is being held without bail pending a mental competency hearing.  She pleaded not guilty.

On Monday afternoon, Pleitez's brother discovered his sister holding her daughter Nicole's lifeless body.  Pleitez's brother, Amilcar Antonio Tejada, had returned home after his wife called to tell him that Pleitez was acting in a bizarre manner.

Tejada told police that when he arrived at the Nantucket home, his sister told him that "they need to pray and that their sister, Maria Elena, was also in the room," according to court documents.

Maria Elena had died several years ago.  Pleitez told her brother that her daughter's face looked like the ghost of Maria Elena.

Pleitez previously told her brother that she'd been "given a gift by God that allowed her to see people that had passed away," according to court documents.

While being treated at the hospital for an injury to her hand sustained the day her daughter died, Pleitez told staff that she had stuck a rose down Nicole's throat because God had told her to, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, the same day she was arrested for her daughter's death, Pleitez told her priest that she was forcing a rose down Nicole's throat to ward off the devil when "she realized the rose was actually her fist and that 'the devil' bit her hand through Nicole," the documents read.

At the home, police found pink rose petals on the floor.

Pleitez told hospital staff that she had considered performing an exorcism on her son, Luis, too.  She "had thought about fighting the demons out of both children and that at one point had a child in each arm," the documents read.

When police arrived Monday at around 12:40 p.m., the little girl was rushed to Nantucket Cottage Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teen Allegedly Dismembered Mother, Stored Body in Freezer

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles mom who was dismembered and her body parts found in her own freezer was afraid of the teenage son who has been charged with murder, according to neighbors. Moises Meraz-Espinoza, 18, allegedly stored his mother's chopped-up body parts in the family freezer for a week before walking into a Huntington Park police station and turning himself in on Friday.

Epifanio Hernandez, the apartment's landlord, told ABC News that he spoke with the teen hours before he went to police to confess the chilling murder. For days Meraz-Espinoza shooed away nosey neighbors, including the landlord who wanted to enter the apartment to install a new sink.

After police investigated and removed the refrigerator and freezer as part of the investigation, Hernandez entered the apartment.

"There was blood still in the shower and on the floor. A lot of blood," he said.

Hernandez said the teen and his mother "had problems."

"She was afraid of him," the landlord said. "The neighbors said they would fight. They had problems because he would go out at night. People were worried something might happen."

Authorities have yet to identify the body, said Lt. Cheryl McWillie of the L.A. County Corner's Office, and would not comment until they had done so. But Lt. Brian Elia of the Coroner's Department told Britain's Daily Mail, "The body does appear to have been dismembered to some extent."

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff said Meraz-Espinoza had been arrested for "murder in connection with the death of an individual discovered in the freezer of a Maywood apartment Friday."

Meraz-Espinoza has yet to be arraigned and is being held without bail, police said. He does not have a lawyer at this time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Hot Sauce Mom' Sparks Outrage In Russia After 'Dr. Phil' Appearance

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SEATTLE) -- Jessica Beagley got in a lot of trouble with the government of her home city, Anchorage, Alaska, after she appeared on the Dr. Phil television show last month, charged with child abuse after she was seen forcing her adopted Russian son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers.

Now she is in more trouble – this time with the government of Russia.

"This is the not the first case of the cruel attitude of adoptive American parents towards Russian kids," Yevgeniy Khorishko, the Russian Embassy's press officer, said. "We are in contact with the U.S. officials regarding this case."

Beagley, a 36-year-old mother of six, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse in an Anchorage courtroom last week. She was not present at the arraignment. Her attorneys entered a plea of not guilty.

A police investigation began after Beagley appeared with Dr. Phil McGraw in November of last year in a segment called "Mommy Confessions." Video shot by her daughter shows Beagley at home in Alaska with the boy. As a punishment for lying, she pours hot sauce down the boy's throat.

Beagley and her police officer husband adopted the boy and his twin brother when they were five. They went through a group called the Alaska International Adoption Agency in June 2008.

Officials from the Russian Consulate in Seattle visited the home in late January. For now, the adopted boys are still at the home pending the outcome of the case, Khorishko said.

Beagley's next court date will be in March.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mom Faces Double-Murder Charges After Confessing to Killing Kids

Photo Courtesy - Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Holding a tissue and crying softly, the Tampa, Fla. mother facing double-murder charges for killing her two teenage children because they were "mouthy" appeared in court Monday.

Julie Schenecker, 50, a military officer's wife, was arrested Friday when police, responding to a call from her mother, found her covered in blood on the back porch of her home. The woman allegedly confessed to the officers there that she had shot son, Beau, 13, and then daughter Calyx, 16, the day before because they "talked back, they were mouthy and she was tired of it," police said.

Wearing a burgundy jumpsuit with the words "inmate" written across it, Schenecker did not speak during her brief appearance in court via closed circuit cameras from the Hillsborough County Jail. Judge Walter Heinrich ordered her held without bond.

Schenecker's husband, Army Col. Parker Schenecker, is making his way back from Qatar, where he was on military assignment. He was not present at his wife's court appearance.

After being read her Miranda Rights, police said, Schenecker confessed to shooting her son twice in the head while they were on the way to soccer practice. She told police that she then drove to the family home in a gated country club community in north Tampa, where she shot her daughter in the back of the head while the teen was studying at her computer, police said.

Schenecker reportedly intended to kill herself, police said. She had left a note detailing why she'd killed her children and her plan to commit suicide, police said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Florida Woman Treated at Hospital; Charged With Killing Kids

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The Florida mother accused of murdering her two teenage children because they were "mouthy" is due in court Monday, after being released from a hospital on Sunday.

Julie Schenecker, 50, a military officer's wife, was arrested Friday when police, responding to call from a concerned relative, found her covered in blood on the back porch of her home.

The woman allegedly confessed to officers that she had shot her 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter. Police believe she bought a .38-caliber pistol five days earlier.

According to police, Schenecker shot her son twice in the head while they were on the way to soccer practice, then drove to the family home, where she shot her daughter in the back of the head while the teen was studying at her computer.

Officers found a note the woman had written saying she planned to kill her children and then herself.

She was taken to a Tampa hospital late Friday night for what police said was a previously existing medical condition, but was released Sunday morning and taken to the Hillsborough County Jail.

Schenecker's husband, Army Col. Parker Schenecker, is stationed at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. A CentCom spokesman said that Parker Schenecker, a career Army intelligence officer, had been away for several days. Police said they had contacted the husband in Qatar Friday and told him his children had been killed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tampa Mom Admits to Fatally Shooting Teen Children

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The Florida woman who admitted to murdering her children because they "talked back" and were "mouthy,"  failed to appear in court Saturday because she was hospitalized and reportedly in intensive care with an unspecified condition.

Police say Julie Schenecker, 50, admitted to killing her 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son with a .38-caliber pistol. Authorities say she also planned to commit suicide.

Schenecker is the wife of Army Col. Parker Schenecker, who was in the Middle East when his wife opened fire on the couple’s teenage children on Thursday.

A second court date has been set for Sunday. It is not clear whether Schenecker will be able to appear.

She has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio