Mom Drowns Autistic Son Because She Was Overwhelmed by Caring for Him

Heartbreaking 134

This is an unbelievably tragic story, but unfortunately one we hear all too often: A mother was reportedly so overwhelmed with caring for her special needs son, a 4-year-old autistic boy, that she killed him. Patricia Colby of San Diego pleaded guilty in the drowning murder of her young son. Colby apparently spent all of her time caring for her son, Daniel, while the boy's father, Duane Colby, worked. The prosecutor reportedly said that Patricia "felt like her whole existence was dedicated to her child. She felt like she had no life."

The boy's father says he had no clue his wife was in danger of hurting their son, and neighbors say the boy always seemed "happy." But behind the scenes, Patricia was apparently breaking down mentally.

After drowning her son in the bathtub, Patricia wrapped him in a blanket, put him in the back of her car, and drove to a police station. There, she admitted what she'd done. Photos of her in court show a distraught woman, and she sobbed so uncontrollably during her plea of guilty that a judge said he hesitated accepting it, although he did.

Patricia was the main caretaker for Daniel, and despite the fact that his father and teacher say he was "making progress," the couple were $70,000 in debt because of treatment they bought him.

The fact that Patricia immediately confessed to what she'd done, and pleaded guilty, plus her emotional state say to me that she truly regrets what she's done. There is never ANY excuse for killing a child, but my heart goes out to this woman, who must have been completely overwhelmed by his care.

I can't imagine what it's like having a child, and your hopes are so high that this child will bring nothing but joy and fun to your life, and instead it turns out so differently. I wish this woman could have gotten more help -- for her sake and her son's. Just tragic. Reminds me of the horrible Andrea Yates case. Patricia faces up to 15 years in prison.

Do you feel sorry for this woman at all?

 

Image via Butkaj.com/Flickr

autism, crime

134 Comments

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jaxmadre jaxmadre

Nope! I feel sorry for the people who love him that she took him from. I feel sorry for the boy who never got to grow up.

Mommi... MommietoJB

I can empathize with this woman to a point. I too am a sahm of an autistic child and also an infant with CP. My life is pretty much consumed with doctors appointments, meltdowns and therapy sessions and we also dont have a lot of money. But when I get overwhelmed and need a break, I ask for help and that little bit of time to do something I will enjoy, kid free. There are lots of sahm's dealing with depression and anxiety behind closed doors.

LoveM... LoveMyKBabies

I can understand that she was overwhelmed. I also have a 4 year old son with autism. But as stressed as I get sometimes, I would NEVER, EVER hurt him. I love him. I feel sorry for the little boy whose last memories were of his mother (the person who should have loved him most) drowning him. The little boy that will never get to grow up & reach his potential. RIP Baby Boy :(

holly... hollywood74

its hard to feel sorry for any moter that kills her child. ...but i kinda see how it happened here. i get that the father worked, but he coulda helped alil more. maybe she wouldnt have so stressed!

dixie... dixiechick2

Why didn't she simply ask for help when she felt overwhelmed? There are special needs schools, that start excepting children at age 3 and they attend til' the age of 22. There's a lot of resources available, maybe she wasn't aware of them. If she was, maybe this little boy would still be here.

Flori... Floridamom96

No! My heart breaks for the young boy who's life was taken and his father. 

Venae Venae

No - you drive him ALIVE to the police station and say - here ya go - I can't take care of him anymore.  And if your husband has a problem w/it, then you go live w/your mom while he tries to take care of him.


I guess she'll live a stress-free life in prison now - what a dumbass.

Flori... Floridamom96

No, she did not kill him because she was overwhelmed. Parents get overwhelmed with their children all the time and they don't kill them. This woman killed her son because she made a wicked choice.

Blues... Blueshark77

While I in no way condone what she did, I do have sympathy for her. It sounds like she was in over her head and maybe didn't know of any way to get help. She seems full of remorse and didn't try to hide what she did. I don't know the whole story. Maybe she didn't have any family near by. Maybe the dad didn't help much when he was home. I feel sorry for a little boy who will never grow up. I can't imagine ever being so overwhelmed by life to take away someone elses. 

nonmember avatar Valerie

How could anyone say they understand/sympathize with a mother who KILLED her child?? This is no minor feat. She didn't do this because he overwhelmed her, shes a sick demon woman. A mother loves her child no matter what. Some days, I am overwhelmed with my son, his doctor appointments, his hectic days and nights, but i make it through the day and if i need time alone i stay up a little while after hes in bed. He is not a burden on my life, he is my life. No mother should want anything more than to love and care for their child. If you can "understand/sympathize" then you are just as bad as that mother who KILLED her son!

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