Sheriff: Woman suffocated sons before submerging bodies in car
By the CNN Wire Staff
August 17, 2010 1:10 p.m. EDT
Shaquan Duley, 29, is facing two counts of murder in the deaths of her sons, the Orangeburg County sheriff says.
NEW: Authorities say the children were dead before they went into the water
Sheriff says South Carolina mother admitted she suffocated two of her kids
Shaquan Duley, 29, will be charged with murder, sheriff says
The bodies of Duley's two children were found in South Carolina's Edisto River
See local coverage with CNN affiliates WOLO-TV, WIS-TV and WLTX-TV in Columbia.
(CNN) -- Unemployed, single and apparently fed up with criticism from her mother, a 29-year-old Orangeburg, South Carolina, woman suffocated her two toddlers with her bare hands before strapping them into car seats and submerging her car in a river, authorities said Tuesday.
Shaquan Duley is facing two counts of murder in the deaths of her sons, ages 1 and 2, said Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams. She is set to appear in court Wednesday.
"She was a mother that was unemployed. She had no means of taking care of her children," Williams told reporters. "She lives with her mother and her mother was a very, I guess, firm individual. ... She often talked with her daughter about, I guess, maybe being more of a mother or being more reliable."
Mother and daughter argued the night before the children's bodies were found early Monday in Duley's Chrysler sedan, submerged in the Edisto River, he said.
"We believe this is a direct response (to the argument) from Ms. Duley," he said. "I believe she was just fed up with her mother telling her she couldn't take care of the children and she wasn't taking care of her children and she just wanted to be free."
Video: Sheriff: Murder charges sought Video: Car sinks with boys inside
However, he said, "this wasn't a hardened criminal. This was a young lady in trouble, in trouble in more ways than she realized." Duley has no previous criminal history, he said.
Duley's third child, a 5-year-old daughter, was at the home of Duley's mother. Police identified the dead children as Ja'van T. Duley, age 1, and Devean C. Duley, 2.
Under questioning, Duley told authorities she smothered the boys by putting her hand over their mouths at the Trumps Inn in Orangeburg, Williams said. She drove them to the river while "trying to find a way to discard the bodies," he said.
"She just wanted to get rid of the children, as sad as it may be," Williams said. Authorities do not know how long the boys had been dead before they went into the water, he said.