Name: Jaelen Edge
Died: September 14, 2013
Age at death: 13
Cause of death: Murder (Poisoning and drowning)
Location: Santa Ana, California, USA
In 2004, Jaelen's mother sued the government, alleging that Jaelen's autism had been caused by a vaccine. The case was dismissed because of lack of evidence.
Jaelen's mother was involved in a custody battle with Jaelen's father over custody of Jaelen and his little sister, Faith (neurotypical, age 10). She refused to let the children's father visit them. Eventually the judge reduced child support payments and awarded joint custody to Jaelen and Faith's father. Their mother responded by moving away. The judge found that their mother was deliberately alienating the children from their father and decided to give him full custody.
Usually children are given to the custodial parent right after the ruling is made, but Jaelen and Faith's mother had sent the children to stay with their grandparents, so she was given a few days to turn the children over to their father. Evidently, Jaelen's mother left the courtroom in the middle of the hearing, upset that the ruling had not gone in her favor.
The day before the deadline, Jaelen and Faith's mother killed them by poisoning them with sleeping pills and then drowning them in the bathtub. She left their bodies in a hotel room, crashed her car into an electrical box, tried to strangle herself while rescuers were getting her out, and was arrested. When he learned of his childrens’ deaths, Jaelen and Faith's father had to be hospitalized to be treated for emotional shock.
Jaelen and Faith’s mother pleaded guilty to murder.
Editor's Note: Jaelen and Faith were killed the same week that the Issy Stapleton case was on the news; Issy Stapleton, an autistic fourteen-year-old, survived a murder attempt by her mother, and many articles responded with sympathy for Issy's mother. The day of the custody hearing was the day of the attempted murder of Issy Stapleton, and at the time of Jaelen and Faith's murder, Issy was in the intensive care unit being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, her survival still uncertain. Issy Stapleton has since been discharged from the hospital and is making a good recovery.
Ariz. Mother Allegedly Kills Children To Prevent Father From Getting Custody
Marilyn Edge Update: Ariz. mom accused of poisoning daughter, autistic son, charged with murder
Mother Accused of Poisoning Children in OC Asks Judge for Death
Marilyn Edge update: Documents shed light on what murder suspect was going through
Arraignment postponed for Marilyn Edge, mother charged in children's deaths
Grand jury testimony: Mom’s plot to kill children involved sleeping pills, drowning