NEWPORT, Ore. (KRON and wire services) — A woman charged with throwing her 6-year-old son off a historic bridge on the Oregon coast confessed in a video that she was “trying to hold it together” amidst family tragedy.
Police and firefighters in the coastal city of Newport, Lincoln County deputies and the Coast Guard searched the bay with boats and a helicopter after Jillian Meredith McCabe, 34, of Seal Rock called 911 at 6:25 p.m. Monday to report throwing her son off the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
The boy’s body was found at 10:23 p.m. in the bay after it was spotted near the Embarcadero Resort, police said.
Detectives found McCabe on the bridge and arrested her on suspicion of aggravated murder, murder and manslaughter, police said.
Newport Police Chief Mark J. Miranda identified the child as London G. McCabe.
“It’s one of these things that you don’t want to happen in a community,” Miranda said. “Unfortunately, sometimes it does and we just have to rely on each other for support at these times.”
Officials confirmed that McCabe told emergency dispatchers that she was reportedly hearing voices and that those voices told her to throw her son off the bridge.
In a YouTube video, McCabe said, “I feel alone and I feel like all of a sudden I am this caregiver and I don’t feel like a whole person who can take this on.”
The McCabe family — Jillian, her husband, Matt, and London — faced a series of health problems over the past several years, according to multiple blogs and fundraising websites.
London, who turned six in September, was “severely autistic,” his mother said in the Oct. 31, 2013 video, a candid look at the now-murder suspect’s mindset not long after her husband’s diagnosis.
McCabe was booked into the Lincoln County Jail, Miranda said. Under Oregon law, any person charged with aggravated murder is denied bail until a hearing before a judge. A spokesperson said McCabe will be arraigned via video at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Police are asking anyone who saw the woman and child on the bridge to call detectives.
The Yaquina Bay arched bridge, one of the most famous on the Oregon coast, opened in 1936. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2009, a woman tossed her two young children off a bridge in Portland, killing her 4-year-old son. A daughter, then 7 years old, survived. Amanda Stott-Smith was sentenced in 2010 to at least 35 years in prison.
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