Mom Accused Of Throwing Son With Autism Off Bridge
An Oregon woman who appears to have written online about the stress of taking care of her son with autism and ailing husband is suspected of throwing her 6-year-old boy to his death from a bridge and then calling police to report it, authorities said Tuesday.
The mother, 34-year-old Jillian Meredith McCabe of Seal Rock, Ore., was scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges Tuesday afternoon.
Around 6:25 p.m. Monday, a woman called 911 and reported that she had thrown her son off the Yaquina Bay Bridge, the Newport Police Department says.
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Local authorities responded, closed the bridge, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter began searching for the boy.
Around 10:30 p.m., police said, searchers spotted the boy’s body in the water about a mile inland, near the Embarcadero Resort. Newport Police Chief Mark J. Miranda identified him as 6-year-old London G. McCabe to KOIN-TV.
Police found Jillian McCabe on the bridge shortly after the call and arrested her on suspicion of murder, aggravated murder and first-degree manslaughter. She was booked at the Lincoln County Jail and her bail was set at $750,000, authorities said.
McCabe appears to be the author of a post on a crowdfunding website about the stresses of taking care of London, who had autism, and her husband, who she said had recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an experience she called “a “lonely and emotionally draining situation.”
“I am taking care of our son London and now Matt full-time…I am applying for any and all assistance available,” she wrote in 2013, adding that the family’s medical expenses and financial instability had her “scared.” She asked friends and family to contribute to fundraisers and an Amazon wish list to assist them.
“I love my husband and he has taken care of myself and my son for years and years and now it’s time for me to take the helm,” she continued. “I am scared and I am reaching out.”
Rob Gorski, a fellow blogger who had posted McCabe’s plea to his website, acknowledged her son’s death in a post Tuesday.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I share with you this morning that the body of London McCabe, a 6-year-old with autism, was found in the waters near the Yaquina Bay Bridge,” Gorski wrote. “The world lost a beautiful soul and he will be missed by everyone his young life had touched.”
Gorski says he was friends with both Jillian and her husband, Matt, but had not been in touch with them since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“The McCabes, they’re good people,” Gorski told the Los Angeles Times by phone Tuesday. “This is not something that I would have ever seen happening.” Gorski, whose three children have autism and whose wife suffers from chronic illness, says he is familiar with the stress Jillian McCabe was facing.
“You get isolated, you get helpless feeling, you get depressed and you get desperate,” Gorski said. Gorski told The Times that the McCabes first reached out to him a few years ago, after he’d written about a crime outbreak in his neighborhood that made him fear for his family’s safety.
Matt McCabe set up an online fundraiser to help Gorski’s family move out of the neighborhood. Although the website only raised about $1,000 and the family was unable to leave, Gorski said it was a “kind gesture from someone I hadn’t known until then.” Later, Jillian would make “bath bombs” that came in different bright colors and scents, shipping them by the dozens to his house so his children, who hated bath time, could enjoy them.
“The McCabes are good people and that makes this so difficult to understand,” Gorski wrote, adding, “the Jillian I know is a loving mother/wife.”