Brittany Pilkington, a 23-year-old mother from Ohio, has been arrested and charged in the suffocating deaths of three of her children. Pilkington admitted to killing her three boys over the last 13 months – a four year old and two one-month-old infants – in order to coerce the children’s father and Pilkington’s husband, Joseph Pilkington, 43, into “loving” both her and their daughter more.
Writes The Associated Press, via MSN News: “A woman calmly called 911 to report her baby son wasn’t breathing on Tuesday and then hours later confessed to killing him and her two other young sons over the past several months, police said.”
According to police, Pilkington, who lived on E. Sandusky Ave. in Bellefontaine, believed her husband paid more attention to his three boys than their one daughter, 3-year-old Hailey Pilkington. Incredibly, foster services returned Hailey and her now-deceased three-month-old brother Noah Pilkington just six days before the infant was murdered. Hailey has since been removed from the home and placed back into foster care.
In April of this year, 4-year-old Gavin Pilkington died. In July, three-month-old Niall was killed. Pilkington told detectives this week that she murdered all three, using blankets to suffocate them while they slept.
“The tragic deaths of Niall, Gavin and Noah leave a pit in our stomachs today,” Bellefontaine Police Department Chief Brandon K. Standley said. “Our condolences go out to the remaining family members who have supported this family through a very difficult 13 months.”
Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee questioned the decision made by Logan Family Court Judge Dan Bratka to return the children to the home, but admitted that his office essentially only had a “hunch” that Brittany was unstable and may have been responsible for the previous deaths of her boys.
“The problem there is we were operating on a hunch and a belief, not solid evidence,” said Goslee. “Hindsight is 20/20. So if a judge is looking at the evidence, I’m not going to needlessly criticize a judge. I don’t sit in his role.”
Adds the Dayton Daily News: “During a recent three-day hearing, both the prosecutor’s office and the Logan County Department of Job and Family Services remained adamant that the children shouldn’t be returned to their parents, Goslee said, because they still didn’t know the cause of death for the other two Pilkington children.”
Joe Skaggs, Brittany Pilkington’s uncle, said the children should never have been returned. “Why would you give them back after a little boy just died and when you’re in the middle of an investigation?” asked Skaggs.
Prosecutors said they may seek the death penalty. “We believe justice is going to be served out here for these three boys,” Chief Standley said. “There are no winners here.”
If convicted, do you think Brittany Pilkington should face the death penalty?