Police in Tulare, California say Heather Langdon, mother to 10-month-old twin boys, was arrested on suspicion of drowning the tots in the bathtub of a motel on Thursday. The 37-year-old mother allegedly committed the act after leaving a women’s shelter, according to People.
So far, no motive has been discussed by the police for the drowning of the boys, and authorities say that Langdon now faces murder charges for the drowning deaths of twins Mason and Maddox Murguia.
Heather Langdon was staying at the motel after she was kicked out of the shelter for creating a disturbance, police said. Additionally, the motel had allowed Langdon to stay there for free.
Maria Marez lives near the motel Langdon was staying in and she told Your Central Valley about the way the mother was acting the day of the twins’ death.
Marez explained that Heather Langdon told her, “I almost drowned them. I almost drowned them,” and that’s when Marez flagged down the cops. Marez told Your Central Valley that she rushed to Langdon’s room when she heard the mom call for help. She said that Langdon said she was trying to help the twins, but at the time she [Marez] was unaware they were deceased.
Maria Marez said she responded to the mom’s cries for help, but by then it was too late. Marez said, “Sad. Real sad that I saw something like that.”
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) December 9, 2018
The night before the drowning, surveillance video captured Tulare Police officers dropping Heather Langdon and her boys at the motel. Sergeant Jon Hamlin confirmed that Langdon had been asked to leave the women’s shelter for creating the disturbance. Ham said, “Officers arrived there and the shelter asked that she leave for causing the disturbances.”
The Lighthouse Rescue Mission is the only women’s shelter in Tulare, but representatives couldn’t confirm if Langdon and the boys stayed there.
Mason and Maddox Murguia were identified by family members, and they said that Langdon had been divorced from her husband “for a few years.” The two share three more children aged 5, 13 and 14.
Heather Langdon’s sister Teresa said, “Not only have I lost my two nephews, I have lost my sister as well.” Teresa told everyone that her sister was a stay-at-home mom who loved the twins. She added, “If she did do this, it is unforgivable.”
For now, Heather Langdon is incarcerated at the Tulare County Pretrial facility and held without bail. As of December 9, it isn’t known if the mom appeared before a judge to enter a plea to the charges, and it’s also unclear if Langdon has an attorney at this time.
Although motive or reason hasn’t been established, the case echoes that of Texan Andrea Yates who systematically drowned her five children in the bathtub of her home in 2001. Yates had been suffering for quite a while from severe postpartum psychosis and postpartum depression.
The Centers for Disease Control states that about one 1 out of 10 women in the United States experience symptoms of depression, and those experiencing postpartum depression can be as high as 1 in 5 women.
Depression is common and treatable. If you think you have depression or postpartum depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible. Additionally, there are free depression hotline numbers such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or the National Hopeline Network: 1-800-784-2433. For more information about depression hotlines click here.