The woman who was accused of driving her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her three kids in Florida was arrested today on three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson. She has also been charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse.
Investigators believe that Ebony Wilkerson was actually trying to kill her kids — ages 3, 9, and 10 — when she drove her minivan into the surf in Daytona Beach on Tuesday, according to Johnson.
“She actually told them to close their eyes and go to sleep, she was taking them to a better place,” he said.
Witnesses and police said that beach rangers and bystanders went into the water and rescued the kids. One child was screaming, “Please help us, our mom is trying to kill us.” Believe it or not, but Wilkerson actually tried to prevent rescuers from pulling her kids from the minivan, and at one point she even FOUGHT her son for control of the steering wheel, according to Johnson.
Johnson said that the mother told investigators that she had actually been trying to drive out of the surf rather than into it, and she denied trying to harm her kids.
Really? So, that’s why you fought your son for control of the steering wheel? And that’s also why one child said that you were trying to kill them?
The three kids were taken to a hospital but thankfully they were not seriously injured. They are currently in protective custody. Wilkerson (who is more than six months pregnant) was removed from a hospital today, where she had been undergoing mental health evaluation, and was on her way to prison, according to Johnson.
Investigators talked with her in the hospital, and asked her what exactly happened on the beach. She said that she had gone through “14 years of agony with her husband,” “jumped from one religious topic to another,” and seemed confused, according to a sheriff’s department affidavit.
Four days before she drove the minivan into the water, she told cops in Myrtle Beach, S.C., that she had been raped by her husband. She told the same thing to cops in North Charleston the following day and she claims she was being followed.