LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who is charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son by intentionally driving into the Kansas River told authorities she wanted to die and didn’t want anyone else to have her children, according to court records.
The probable cause affidavit was released Wednesday in the case against Scharron Renea Dingledine, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Amiyah Bradley, and attempted first-degree murder for injuries suffered by her son, Elijah Lake. It says she told police she had been voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital for several hours on Aug. 2, one day before she plunged into the river in downtown Lawrence, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of her hometown of Columbia, Missouri, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.
Dingledine went to the psychiatric hospital after a fight with her boyfriend. After her release, the boyfriend agreed to take her to a shelter. Instead, when he stopped at a store, she drove off in his car, with the children inside, she told detectives. She says she later stole another vehicle near Columbia and drove to the Kansas City area, where she spent the night in the vehicle. She then drove to Lawrence on Aug. 3 and was “feeling depressed and worried about the consequences of her actions” on the previous day, according to the affidavit.
The document said that at one point, she drove to the river, parked and let the children walk down and put their feet in the water. She said she then began thinking that the river was a good way to kill herself and decided to kill the children too “because she didn’t want anyone else to have them.”
She told detectives that she considered jumping into the river but ultimately accelerated into the river while the children were unrestrained in the front seat. She said she knew neither child could swim and “would likely die,” according to the affidavit.
Lawrence police said they received multiple 911 calls from people who spotted a car in the river. Officers were able to rescue Dingledine and Elijah. Amiyah’s body was found the next day.
A judge has granted a defense request for a mental competency evaluation.