Family Crimes

Mom Sentenced For Drowning 2 Young Sons In Bathtub To Be A Better Mother To Other Son

“The person who committed these acts was not the real me.”

A Pennsylvania mom faces decades in prison for drowning her two young sons.

According to Penn Live, 44-year-old Laurel Schlemmer was found guilty of third-degree murder in March and has been sentenced to 30 to 80 years in prison. The mom claimed that she drowned her sons in order to be a better mother.

On April 1, 2014, Schlemmer drowned Luke and Daniel (who were 3 and 6 years old) at the family's home. She told authorities that she heard "crazy voices" and then pushed them into the tub, wanting to send them to heaven. A former teacher, she explained that she would be a better mother to her older son (age 7) if "the other two boys weren't around and they would be better off in heaven."

The older son was at school at the time of the incident.

After drowning her sons, Schlemmer called 9-1-1. "[Ms.] Schlemmer said she never attempted CPR because she did not know how to do it," police wrote in a criminal complaint.

Friends of Schlemmer said at the time that the stay-at-home mother and her husband seemed fine. Prior to the incident, Schlemmer had one cited offense against her for leaving a child unattended in a car.

During her sentencing on Wednesday, she apologized for her crimes.  “No one could be more grieved than me,” she said in court. “I wish with all my heart I could undo the harm and have our precious boys back. It tears me up every day that I cannot fix this.”

She thanked the court for ordering her to undergo mental treatment. She has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, dissociative disorder, not otherwise specified with psychosis, generalized anxiety disorder with obsessive rumination, psychiatric disorder, not otherwise specified, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder.

“The person who committed these acts was not the real me,” she said. “My pattern of living was very good for 40 years, but that is being overshadowed by the tragedy that I caused.”

[Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Family photo] 

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