ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The mother of two young children found dead in a car in the Edisto River Monday morning will be charged with murder after she admitted to suffocating the boys first, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams.
Williams said Tuesday morning that 29-year-old Shaquan Duley told investigators she placed her hands over the boys' faces and suffocated them at the Trumps Inn in downtown Orangeburg.
The sheriff says Duley showed no remorse as she told her story to investigators Monday evening. "I believe she wanted to get rid of the children," said Williams, describing the lengthy interview investigators had with Duley. "The responsibility of being a mom was a bit much for her."
Williams said Duley then strapped her dead children into their car seats in her Dodge Intrepid Tuesday morning, drove to the Shillings Bridge boat landing on the Edisto River, put the car in neutral and let it roll into the water.
Duley was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but Williams said he will now seek murder charges against Duley in the murder of her two children, 18-month-old Ja'van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol was called to the boat landing around 6:00am Monday for a reported accident. When troopers arrived, they saw no sign of an accident and asked for assistance from the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.
Members of the dive team found Duley's vehicle about 40 minutes after arriving on the scene. They found the two children in the back seat still strapped into their car seats.
Investigators say Duley walked almost a mile before reporting what she initially called an accident. "I believe that she was just angry and upset," Williams said. "She was trying to find a way to discard the bodies."
As for a motive, Williams says the unemployed Duley couldn't handle the responsibilities and finances of being a mother. "Her thoughts were, 'for me to be free, for me to do what I wish to do, whatever that may be, if I didn't have the children, I will get rid of them.'" said Williams.
Williams said the father of the children hasn't been found yet.
Duley will face a circuit court judge Wednesday afternoon at 2:00pm, and will undergo a mental evaluation as the case against her moves forward.