An Indiana woman has been charged with murder after allegedly drowning her young grandson because he would be “better off in heaven,” according to authorities.
The Howard County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday charged Helen Martin, 56, with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, WTHR reports. Officers with the Kokomo Police Department took the grandmother into custody on Saturday after responding to a report at a private residence of an individual who was unconscious.
Upon their arrival, police found Martin’s unresponsive 4-year-old grandson being treated by first responders, according to another WTHR report. He later died after being taken to the Community Howard Regional Health Hospital.
Martin’s husband Brian Martin told police upon their arrival that his wife had drowned the child, and Helen allegedly admitted that she’d held the boy’s head underneath the water while giving him a bath, WTHR reports.
During an interview with police, Helen Martin said she made the decision to bathe the child while her husband was out running errands, according to court documents obtained by FOX59. She then got into the bath with the child and his toys, while still wearing clothes, and allegedly held his head underwater until he drowned. Afterward, she changed clothes, placing her wet clothes in a laundry hamper. When Brian Martin returned, he was the one to pull the child out of the bath.
Brian Martin told police that his wife had called him and told him what she’d done, court documents state, but Helen Martin told authorities that she didn’t remember making such a call, according to an affidavit obtained by the Kokomo Tribune. During an interview with investigators, she was asked why she drowned the child, and she is alleged to have said that “she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought he would be better off in heaven than to be with her,” according to court documents..
She also told police that she suffered from gaps in her memory due to PTSD from “past abusive marriage, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder,” FOX59 reports.
Brian and Helen Martin were the legal guardians of the child; he was their daughter’s son, and was born addicted to heroin, according to WTHR.
Martin made her first court appearance on Thursday morning, online records show. She is scheduled to next appear in court for a pretrial conference on July 9.
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