The mother had been struggling with depression and wanted to leave the world. But she didn't want her son to be alone so she took him with her.
When 41-year-old Emma Sillett took her 5-year-old son Jenson Spellman for a little treat, it would have seemed like a normal thing to do. However, what came next was truly heart-breaking.
It was found that after the British mother took her son out for a Happy Meal, she drove to an empty reservoir in Derbyshire. An inquest revealed that she filled his backpack with rocks and took his hand before jumping to her death, killing the little boy with herself, according to the Daily Mail. As per Mirror UK, two days after they were reported missing, their bodies were discovered lying face to face in the water of Valehouse Reservoir.
Emma, a social worker, had left a heartwrenching note in her car stating that she had tied herself to Jenson because she couldn't stomach the idea of him "drifting away." In the note, the mother had shared that she wanted to end her life but didn't want her son to be alone without her. The note also contained "a marker" left by the mother to help locate their bodies. It also outlined how she had attempted suicide the day before but had to stop because Jenson "got frightened." With the help of the marker and the discovery of a child's cuddly toy, and a torch at the edge of the water, police were able to find them.
During a hearing at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court, it was disclosed that she had been suffering depression for years along with three miscarriages with the last one happening just a year before her death. However, authorities insisted that the suicide was triggered due to the relationship between Emma and her son's father breaking down. It was considered the "major issue in her life."
Detective Constable Rebecca Fearon told the court that the duo were reported missing by Emma's partner, John Spellman. He had called emergency services when they didn't come home. When questioned, he revealed that she had felt “very low” for a few days and had talked about “ending it all," but had never said anything about harming their son.
Emma's car was found the day after their bodies. Police recovered a mobile phone inside, as well as the remains of a Happy Meal, a handbag, and a purse. Additionally, there were numerous handwritten letters and a length of cord. The mother and son's toxicology reports came back negative for injuries and drugs.
“In the letter, she said she had battled with what to do. She had battled to save Jenson from ‘this world’ and never wanted to hurt him,” DC Fearon told the court. “She said she could not stand the thought of Jenson living without her. She talked about never wanting to put him through a life of pain and being bullied and singled out." Nicola Sillett, Emma's sister informed police that Emma had been one of seven siblings and bullied as a child. However, she had also been “intelligent and strong-minded."
Some of the letters found were addressed to family members with Emma apologizing for what she was going to do and explained why she took her son with her. John revealed that his partner had been shattered by her brother's death in 2012, was concerned about Jenson's health, and was stressed out by work. “In the days before her death she was distant and writing notes, but I did not realize what they were,” John told officers.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please get in touch with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or head over to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Elizabethsalleebauer