Jesus Take The Wheel: South Carolina Woman Smothers Sons, Stages Car Crash Into River

- By Bossip Staff

This is so sad. A mother of three has confessed to smothering her two toddler boys before putting them into her car and rolling it into the river.

A 29-year-old mother is facing murder charges in the killings of her two young sons, the Orangeburg County sheriff said this morning, saying the children were suffocated before being strapped into their car seats and rolled into the North Edisto River.

Shaquan Duley, of Hammock Street, Orangeburg, confessed to killing 18-month-old Ja’van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley, Sheriff Larry Williams announced at a news conference, following her questioning late into the evening at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center.

Duley is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The boys’ bodies were pulled early Monday morning from a submerged Chrysler sedan in the river, about seven miles west of Orangeburg, Williams said.

Duley, who was unemployed, had been at odds with her mother, with whom she lived, over how she was raising her children, Williams said. Duley also has a 5-year-old daughter.

Duley checked into an Orangeburg County motel, where the sheriff said she suffocated the children. Williams said he didn’t know how long the children were dead before their bodies were put into their car seats, and the car rolled into the river.

“Here’s two innocent little folks who meant no harm to anyone, taken away,” Williams said. “It’s touching.”

The sheriff speculated Duley may have suffocated her children “to be free.”

“This wasn’t a hardened criminal. This was a young (lady) in trouble,” Williams said, adding that “she didn’t know where to turn.”

Authorities had not spoken with Shaquan Duley’s mother, whose identity was not released, Williams said. They also had not spoken with the father, who did not live with the family.

Many reports compared the incident to the notorious Susan Smith killings. The young mother was convicted in the 1994 drowning deaths of her two young sons Michael, 3, and Alex, 14 months, whom she left strapped in the back seat of her car before rolling it into John D. Long Lake in Union County. She is serving a life sentence.

Duley initially told police her car careened into a river, trapping the boys in their child seats. She claimed she couldn’t reach the children underwater. But her calm demeanor and dry clothes made police suspicious.

This is terrible. Almost every woman with children understands how truly overwhelming motherhood can be, but it is unimaginable to think of something like this as a solution — much less carry through with it.

R.I.P.

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