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Mother who ‘smothered baby because she feared he was autistic was insane and had postpartum depression’

Posted Dec 07 2011 2:03am

The story is on the Daily Mail’s website: Mother who ‘smothered baby because she feared he was autistic was insane and had postpartum depression’

A mother killed a six month old out of fear that the child was autistic. She says that she feared the child “would emotionally and financially ‘ruin’ her life”. She has been declared insane and will not be prosecuted.

A mother who allegedly smothered her six month old son because she feared he had autism will not face a murder charge.

Prosecutors said they doubt if they could prove Stephanie Rochester was sane at the time of the killing.

and

An arrest warrant for the 2010 killing revealed that Rochester feared her son had autism and tried to suffocate him with a plastic bag at their home in Superior, Colorado.

When that failed she used blankets to end his life.

The arrest warrant revealed Rochester had wanted to kill herself but did not want to ‘burden’ her husband with an autistic child.

Rochester told detectives that she thought having an autistic child would emotionally and financially ‘ruin’ her life.

  1. Autism Blog – Mother who 'smothered baby because she feared he … | My Autism Site | All About Autism:
    [...] View post: Autism Blog – Mother who 'smothered baby because she feared he … [...]
  2. MikeMa:
    Saw this on the Huffington Post. Sad indeed. The way the article is written, "she thought her son was autistic", would possibly indicate that he might be on the milder end of the spectrum if he was autistic at all. Six months is a bit young for a certain diagnosis I believe. I wonder what might have helped her more, a health care system that helped her deal with the possible future care her son might have required or a support system that taught her to value her son as loved family member rather than a burden, a mistake or a cross to bear.

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