6-Year-Old Dies After McCandless Mom’s Alleged Drowning Attempt
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The 6-year-old boy who has been on life support since police say his mother allegedly held him and his little brother down in a bathtub full of water, has died.
According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, 6-year-old Daniel Schlemmer passed away at Children’s Hospital this weekend.
Doctors have been treating him there since Tuesday when he and his brother were found unresponsive in the bathroom of their McCandless home.
On Thursday, doctors said the 6-year-old had no brain activity.
Daniel’s mother, 40-year-old Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, is accused of drowning her 3-year-old son, Luke, as well.
The children were found on the bathroom floor when police and paramedics arrived at the home after Schlemmer called 911. Luke passed away at the hospital that same day.
According to police, the boys’ mother said “crazy voices” told her to push her sons under the water. At one point, she reportedly sat on top of them.
Former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht has been involved in several cases of mothers being accused in the deaths of their children. He’s been watching the Schlemmer case very closely.
“I think what needs to be evaluated here is, of course, the woman’s competency,” said Dr. Wecht. “Determine whether or not… she is competent to stand trial. Whether or not she was competent at the time she committed this act.”
Once the boys were unresponsive, Schlemmer told police she pulled them out of the tub, changed into dry clothes and called for help.
Investigators say Schlemmer told police she thought she could be a better mother to her oldest, 7-year-old son if the other two weren’t around.
Schlemmer was denied bail during a hearing on Thursday. She is on suicide watch at the Allegheny County Jail.
Meanwhile, the medical examiner’s office says they will schedule an autopsy to determine the exact cause of the 6-year-old’s death.