Police Arrest 'Overly Protective' Mom In Daughter's
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 6, 2006
GENEVA, ILLINOIS--Kane County Sheriff's investigators are trying to find answers as to why a mother allegedly stabbed her adult daughter to death, then drove off a bridge with her body inside the car.
Betty C. Whitten, 58, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 34-year-old Nyakiambi Whitten, who had developmental disabilities and cerebral palsy, and used a wheelchair. As of Thursday, Mrs. Whitten was still being held in jail on suicide watch, her bail set at $2 million.
Authorities believe that Mrs. Whitten used a kitchen butcher knife to stab her daughter three times in the chest around 10 a.m. Monday. She then apparently loaded her daughter's body into the family's 2002 Hyundai sedan and headed toward nearby St. Charles.
When a St. Charles police officer approached the car near a bridge over the Fox River, Whitten drove through a guardrail and down an embankment, rolling the vehicle over onto its top.
Mrs. Whitten was treated for a minor cut on her face, presumably from the wreck.
The coroner determined that that Nyakiambi died from stab wounds to the chest. No defensive or self-inflicted wounds were found on her body.
Kane County Sheriff Kenneth Ramsey did not discuss a possible motive, but told reporters that Mrs. Whitten may have been feeling pressure from caring for her daughter.
Earstin Whitten, 57, told the Chicago Sun-Times he did not understand why his wife suddenly killed the daughter they adopted at age 2. He explained that, while Mrs. Whitten was "overly protective", he and his wife often traded off taking care of Nyakiambi so the other could "go off and do what they needed to do."
Mr. Whitten described his daughter as good natured, saying she enjoyed being involved with her family and listening to music.
"She could communicate," he said. "She could walk, but not too far. She would be involved in everything we did, if she could."
"She didn't have animosity towards anybody."
"'This was a tragic family situation'" (Chicago Tribune)
"Mom charged with murdering disabled daughter" (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Disabled daughter was priority for accused mom, husband says" (Chicago Sun-Times)