South Carolina authorities will bring murder charges against a woman who admitted she suffocated two of her children, who were found in a car submerged in a river, Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said in a news conference Tuesday.
Shaquan Duley, 29, told police she smothered her toddler sons at the Trumps Inn motel in Orangeburg by placing her hands over their mouths, Williams said. He added that the children were dead before she put them in their car seats and drove them to the river while “trying to find a way to discard the bodies.”
Williams said Duley is not a hardened criminal, but an angry, upset, unemployed woman who felt she had no way to support her kids.
“I believe she was fed up with her mother telling her she couldn’t take care of her children and she wasn’t taking care of her children,” Williams said.
Investigators had previously identified “some issues that needed to be unraveled” in the case, he said earlier, but as Duley was interviewed throughout the evening, “we discovered some other issues that we had great concern (about).
Williams told CBS he thought from the outset “we had a deceptive mother” and that investigators shared his “gut feeling” that something wasn’t right. Williams said Monday the case had “a stench of foul play.”
Duley currently faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident. Divers found the bodies of her two sons, ages 1 and 2, in her Chrysler sedan in the Edisto River near a boat landing after state troopers responded to a report of a car accident early Monday. The bodies were sent to the county coroner for autopsies.
Williams said Monday he couldn’t confirm reports that the key was still in the car’s ignition, but he said the car apparently was in neutral.
He added Duley didn’t appear wet, saying, “She didn’t have any evidence that she had been submerged in the water.”
The car went off the boat ramp that is about 10 yards off the road’s shoulder and sits at a 90-degree angle to the road.
“She just wanted to get rid of the children, as sad as it may be,” Williams said.
He said Duley had argued with her mother, with whom she lived and who he described as “firm,” the night before the incident.
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