The mother of a month-old infant who died in a hotel bathtub in Ashdod earlier this month is facing murder charges in an Ashkelon court after telling police investigators she had experienced a "divine vision" and wanted to immerse her son, stressing she believed he would come out of the water by himself due to divine intervention.
The investigation revealed that the woman, a Beit Shemesh resident, immersed the child at least four times until he drowned.
During questioning, the mother admitted that she drowned her son in a Jacuzzi but she then changed her account and said that she choked the child.
The baby's father, who was sleeping at the time, was initially suspected of disrupting interrogation procedures, but later the police also attributed to him a suspicion of murder.
He was released from detention Monday as investigators failed to provide adequate evidence to link him of the crime..
The couple, aged 28, also has a 7-year-old daughter. A relative said before the second hearing regarding the remand: "She was not aware of her actions; she is a sick woman who needs help."
The attorneys representing the mother, called the tragedy a "sad and difficult story," emphasizing it is so not only due to the toddler's death, but also due to the "evident" unstable mental state of his mother, which they note is also the opinion of the district psychiatrist.
"The court ... even ordered her hospitalization against her will," they added. "Naturally, at this stage, we will not be able to relate to the testimony that she submitted, since these matters are still being clarified in the framework of the police investigation."
The police's request to subject the baby's body to an autopsy was accompanied by protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. Shortly before the baby’s funeral last Thursday, the father received the consent of the police to part with his son outside the Shikma detention center.
At the funeral itself, dozens of women gathered on the sidelines and told their children that the baby's death is the fault of the "heretics" (the people who allowed for or performed the autopsy–ed): "We brought our children to ask forgiveness from the baby." The mother's friends insisted that the she was not to blame for the matter: "They forced her to confess, they are plotting libels against her."
She added, "It happens that a baby slips in the tub, it could have happened to any of us, God will have mercy, she did not hurt him. Is it not enough that her baby died in her arms?"