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SAN DIEGO, CA —  A mother in California admitted to investigators that she drowned her 4-year-old autistic son in the bathtub because she was tired of taking care of him.

Back in March, 36-year-old Patricia Corby drove to a police substation and confessed to drowning her son, Daniel. Police would find her son wrapped in a blanket in the backseat of her SUV.  Efforts were made to revive Daniel, who was diagnosed with a high likelihood for autism, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Corby was arrested and charged with murder and assault on a child.

She would later tell Walter Escobar, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, that she drowned her son because she had no life due to her whole existence being dedicated to Daniel. She had initially thought of drowning herself, but didn’t want leave Daniel behind. So she filled a bathtub with a few inches of water, placed Daniel inside, then held him down until he died.

She said she tried to follow through with her original plan of drowning herself, but was unable to do so. Realizing what she had done was wrong, she decided to drive to the police station with Daniel’s body so she could turn herself in.

During her September court hearing, Corby cried loudly and kept her face hidden behind her hair. Her husband testified about the emotional and financial stress the family endured in regards to Daniel’s care, including being $70,000 in debt from Daniel’s physical and speech therapy, special diets and hyperbaric oxygen treatments.

He also testified that Daniel was making progress. “I saw real cognitive gains,” Duane Corby said in San Diego Superior Court, adding that Daniel had begun to use complete sentences and could identify all the letters in the alphabet. “I was more than willing to put everything I had into it,” the father said. His wife “always wanted more.”

Corby was back in court last Thursday, where she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. She will be back in court on Jan 28, when she will be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

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