Drowned Children's Dad Says Wife Was Depressed

From Associated Press

The husband of a woman accused of drowning their five children in the bathtub said tearfully Thursday that he wants to help his wife through the ordeal, blaming her actions on severe depression.

"I want to show her I love her and support her," Russell Yates said as he stood in his suburban Houston frontyard filled with stuffed animals and flowers. He clutched a family photo.

Andrea Yates, 36, is charged with capital murder. Police believe she systematically drowned all five of the couple's children, ages 6 months to 7 years, on Wednesday morning, then called police and her husband, a computer specialist at NASA.

Yates said his wife told him simply: "You need to come home."

"I was afraid of her tone. Her tone was very serious," Yates said. He returned home to find his children dead and watch helplessly as his wife was arrested. "My heart just sunk."

Found under a sheet in a bedroom were the wet bodies of Mary, 6 months; Luke, 2; Paul, 3; and John, 5. The fifth child, Noah, 7, was found in the tub.

Preliminary results from autopsies conducted Thursday indicate the children drowned, Harris County Medical Examiner Joye Carter said.

Yates said his wife had gone through postpartum depression after the birth of the couple's fourth child.

"She attempted suicide and they gave her medication. It took a while, but she just snapped out of it," he said. "She was fine from that time until a few months after she had our fifth child."

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