A sheriff in South Carolina said a mother who drowned one of her daughters in her home was attempting to kill another daughter when her third daughter fought her away, saving the second child.
Police didn't say exactly where in the St. Helena Island home the mother was trying to kill her second daughter, but did say they were in a bathroom when the attacks happened early on Friday.
The woman's 16-year-old daughter was asleep when she was awoken at around 1:30 a.m. to the sound of screams. She discovered her 8-year-old sister being attacked and was able to stop her mother and escape to a family member's home nearby to call emergency services.
While the motives for the crimes were unclear, Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said, "It’s not my job to determine if someone has a mental health problem."
The 37-year-old mother, Jamie Bradley Brun, was charged with attempted murder and murder. She had no arrest record in South Carolina, according to authorities. Police say they were called to the same home once before, two years ago, to respond to a complaint from a school regarding the mental health of one of her children, according to the sheriff.
Sheriff Tanner told reporters that he was proud of the daughter for stopping the mother and calling 911.
"She defended her family when no one else was available," he said.
Police who arrived on scene tried to resuscitate Brun's 6-year-old daughter, but she was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Medics said her 8-year-old daughter didn't suffer any serious injuries.
Police said they had to use a Taser device to subdue the mother in order to take her into custody.
An autopsy was being conducted to confirm the cause of death for Brun's child.
Sheriff Tanner said police "have a lot more details," but were not able to release more information pending the ongoing investigation.
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