Nov. 2014: Mom throws son off Yaquina bridge

Mom accused of throwing son off Yaquina Bay Bridge

November 5, 2014:

NEWPORT, Ore. -- A Lincoln County woman was expected to appear in court Tuesday on accusations she murdered her son by throwing him off the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport Monday night.

Authorities said 34-year-old Jillian McCabe called 911 at 6:25 p.m. to report what she did. She later told police that she heard voices in her head telling her to throw the boy off the bridge.

When asked the nature of her emergency, she told the 911 dispatcher, "I just threw my son over the Yaquina Bay Bridge," according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by KGW Tuesday morning.

She told the dispatcher her son London was gone in the water, and described him and his clothing in detail, then described herself as an officer approached her. She told several officers on the scene that she had thrown the boy into the water.

One officer actually saw McCabe carrying him on the bridge, which he found odd considering the size of the boy.

The drop from the bridge deck to the water below is 133 feet. The Coast Guard, Newport police and fire and the Lincoln County sheriff's office searched for a victim in the water around the bridge.

About 10:30 p.m., the boy's body was located near the Embarcadero Resort to the east of the bridge. He was identified by a photo provided by his father Matt McCabe.

Jillian McCabe, who lives the Seal Rock area, was accused of aggravated murder, murder, first degree manslaughter, and second degree manslaughter. Her bail was set at $1 million and her first hearing was scheduled for November 12.

Family members told KGW that Jillian struggled with mental health issues at times and when she got overwhelmed, she did try to get help. They said she applied for assistance from public and private providers, but was not able to get any.

Jillian had recently created an online donation site for her son and husband. She said London was diagnosed with autism and her husband, Matt McCabe, was struggling with multiple sclerosis. She lived in Hood River at the time, as first reported by NBC News.

"I love my husband and he has taken care of myself and my son for years and years and now it's time for me to take the helm," she said. "I am scared and I am reaching out. I hope I am not coming across trashy or over-reactionary. I must explore every avenue to take care of my family right now."

The appeal for money ended eight months ago, after raising $6,831 toward a goal of $50,000.

In this YouTube video below published October, 2013 with her husband by her side, McCabe sends out an appreciation to all who have helped her cope with a child with autism and a husband with MS. "I can't take this on alone," she says, adding that it kept her "from pulling a Thelma and Louise. I said it."

The video ends with her saying, "My son has a mom here, my son has a dad here, and that means a lot."

London McCabe attended kindergarten at Crestview Heights Elementary in Waldport, according to school district officials. His bright blue eyes and grin stood out, under one of his favorite hats, in a recent school photo shared with KGW.

Slideshow: Photos of London McCabe

After the boy's body was found, counselors were provided for law enforcement officers and rescue crews involved in the incident.

"It's one of these things you don't want to happen in your community," said Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda. "I feel really sorry for the family. Losing a kid isn't easy."

In May 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.

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.


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