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"He's Not A Monster" Mother Defends 14-Yr-Old Son Who Suffocated Her Other Two Children

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A disturbing case from rural Indiana is making headlines nationwide, and now it has taken the strangest twist yet.

After a 14-year-old boy from Osgood, Indiana confessed to killing his two younger siblings, his mother, Christina McCartney, spoke out publicly in his defense.

It's just the latest chapter in a bizarre story that has been haunting the small town since last year.

"And then the next one happened and we knew there was something off then."

Last May, McCartney's 23-month-old daughter Desiree was rushed to the hospital for breathing trouble. She died in hospital just five days later.

While the cause of her death was listed as "undetermined," both Indiana State Police and the state's Division of Child Services opened investigations into her death.

Police say everyone in the home, including Desiree's then-13-year-old brother, was considered a suspect.

The teen was removed from the home as part of the DCS investigation, but was allowed to return home before the police investigation was finished.

Less than 90 days after Desiree's death, McCartney's 11-month-old stepson, Nathaniel, died after being suffocated.

Residents on McCartney's street told local news station WLWT that they originally thought Desiree's death was an "accidental drowning."

"And then the next one happened and we knew there was something off then," said neighbor Becky Horn.

"He's not the monster that people are trying to portray him as."

Indiana State Police charged Desiree and Nathaniel's older brother with the two killings, and investigators say the boy confessed to the crimes.

But in spite of losing two children, McCartney still felt compelled to speak out on behalf of her son.

"He's not the monster that people are trying to portray him as," she told Fox 19.

"It's a mother's worst nightmare to have such a precious family and then to wake up to the worst possible outcomes."

She also called her son "every mom’s dream child," and said he would sing and read books to his younger siblings.

"I didn't have to ask him to help with the kids he would just do it," McCartney remembered.

Despite her headline-grabbing comments, county prosecutors say the boy's mother is cooperating with the ongoing investigation through DCS.

But McCartney's rosy memories of her son don't match up with his chilling confession submitted in court documents.

"In my time here, which has been 19 years, I'm not sure that I've seen anything quite as disturbing and as final as something like this."

Ripley County Courthouse, Indiana.Nyttend - Wikimedia

Investigators say the teen boy admitted to killing his siblings so they wouldn't "have to live in the hell that he did."

When asked to explain what he meant, they say the boy answered "chores," and mentioned the list of daily chores he was meant to complete.

Despite admitting to suffocating his siblings, the suspect also told detectives he "didn't want to hurt them."

An affidavit submitted to the court even claims the teen said he "had a conversation with God about them, but he could not talk about it because he had promised God he wouldn't tell anyone."

Richard Hertel, the county's prosecuting attorney, admitted he was lost for words to explain the confession.

"You kind of shrug your shoulders. I don’t know," he said.

"In my time here, which has been 19 years, I'm not sure that I've seen anything quite as disturbing and as final as something like this."

He added that the case was "a puzzle," and that we "might never know exactly what happened," but hoped doctors examining the teen could shine more light on his case.

After the boy is evaluated, a judge will decide if he is fit to stand trial as an adult. Hertel worries that if he is tried as a juvenile, the boy could be released in as little as three years.

[H/T: WLWT, Fox 19]

May Desiree and Nathaniel rest in peace.

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