Police in Wisconsin have charged a woman with murdering her eight-year-old son and attempting to kill her 11-year-old son after she allegedly became agitated about the war in Ukraine.
Natalia Aleksandrovna Hitchcock, 41, a resident of Plank Trail Lane in Sheboygan Falls, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, according to a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, reported Law & Crime.
The Sheboygan Falls police department said on 31 March that Ms Hitchcock assaulted her eight-year-old son Oliver in their apartment the previous day. The child’s father, who was also in the apartment, called emergency services and started life saving measures.
Oliver was transported to a hospital, where he died on 1 April due to his injuries.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, the incident unfolded on 30 March when all four members of the Hitchcock family were at home as the children were on spring break.
Ms Hitchcock’s husband said that he was awoken from a nap by his 11-year-old son, who yelled that his younger brother was dead.
He found Oliver lying on the bedroom floor at the base of a bunk bed and took him to the living room to administer CPR.
Ms Hitchcock reportedly told him that she had “killed” their son.
He told police officials later that Ms Hitchcock then walked around the apartment with “a knife, dazed, saying she was going to kill everyone in the house”.
Her husband told the police that Ms Hitchcock’s mother lived in Russia and that he was worried about Ms Hitchcock’s mental state as she watched TV with the war between Russia and Ukraine.
He added that recently, Ms Hitchcock had asked him to stay home from work and wanted to buy survival gear such as a camping stove and fuel, besides buying knives and guns.
She had also complained that she could not book a flight to Russia to see her mother, which made her angry, he told the police.
While Ms Hitchcock had not been diagnosed with mental health disorders earlier, she told police officials that “someone was controlling her mind and she had been poisoned”.
She also said that she had been under some kind of a “brain fog” and admitted that she had “suffocated” her younger son. “I did not want him to be abused,” she said, according to the criminal complaint.
When investigators asked Ms Hitchcock about the war in Ukraine, she said her husband had expressed concern that it was causing her stress. However, she claimed to be more worried about being sold on the dark web.
She alleged that she felt people thought of her as a Russian spy and so, she suspected that her children would be taken away from her by social workers.
Her elder son also informed officials of an incident on 29 March. He was in the bathroom tub when his mother asked him to show her how long he could stay under water. He said that he felt her hands pushing his head under water.
Officials also found bottles containing four “different types of Tylenol, an empty bottle of Tylenol from within a closet hamper, and several open bottles of alcohol”, the document concluded.