Name: Chelsea Craig
Died: March 19, 2001
Age at death: 14
Cause of death: Murder (Poisoned)
Location: Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada
Fourteen-year-old Chelsea had Rett syndrome, a disorder that causes autism, developmental delays, and neurological problems. She was a shy girl who used to play in the backyard, and was in her first year of high school. Her teachers remembered her for her curiosity and openness to new experiences. She had a pet bulldog named Penny.
Chelsea died when her mother gave her a mixture of prescription drugs. Her mother also attempted suicide, but because she took the drugs only a short while before her husband returned home from work, she survived, spent the night in the hospital, and was taken to jail the next morning.
Chelsea's mother claimed that she had killed Chelsea to keep her father from sexually abusing her, but no evidence of sexual abuse could be found. Chelsea's mother underwent a psychological evaluation and was diagnosed with paranoid delusional disorder. The judge ruled that she was not at fault for Chelsea's death because of her own history of abuse and because of the "stress caused by Chelsea's disability". They concluded that Chelsea's mother had decided to commit suicide, and killed Chelsea because she did not want to leave her to be raised by her father.
Instead of being imprisoned, Chelsea's mother was sent to a psychiatric hospital. A year later, on an unsupervised outing, she committed suicide.