A mother who drowned her infant son in a Jacuzzi at an Ashdod hotel earlier this month will be charged with murder. The prosecution will be filing charges with the Be’er Sheva District Court on Thursday.
The mother told police that when she entered the tub with her infant son to wash him, the Shekhinah - a female manifestation of God – materialized and pulled him into the water. At that stage, she said, she let go of the baby and enabled him to drown, on the grounds that he should be the messiah.
On April 2, the couple arrived at the Mei-Ami Hotel in Ashdod a with their son, and were allocated to a room with a Jacuzzi. Paramedics were urgently called to the hotel in early afternoon. They found the baby unconscious and evacuated him to hospital, where he was declared dead.
Police investigators called to the scene of the drowning immediately suspected a criminal act and detained the mother for questioning.
At first she exercised her right to remain silent, but in further questioning, admitted to having drowned the child. Later she reenacted the scene for investigators and also tied her husband to the developments, leading to his arrest as well. But there were contradictions in the testimony, and at some stage the father admitted he had tried to protect his wife by falsifying certain aspects of his testimony to police. He then delivered a more credible version.
The mother’s mother was also at the hotel when the drowning occurred. She says she knocked on the parents’ door twice during the morning but was denied entry. The third time, they let her in and she saw the father sitting and crying, and the baby unconscious in the water. She immediately took the baby out of the bath and tried to revive him, and ordered the father to call for help.
An initial psychiatric examination of the mother at the court’s behest found her unfit to stand trial. Now that charges will be filed, the mother will be undergoing another psychiatric examination.
The prosecution hasn’t decided whether to charge the father yet. They suspect he had lied to them previously because he was in bad shape after realizing that his son was no more.