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The Smallest Victims

Updated on May 25, 2014

When a Mother Kills Her Children

What was 30-year-old Carol Coronado thinking when she stabbed her three daughters? It’s said that she was a proud mom and devoted her life to her children so what would make her take their lives without warning?

Coronado had been hospitalized with self-inflicted wounds since that Tuesday, when events brought sheriff's deputies to her home at an unincorporated area near Torrance. The grandmother discovered the bodies of the three girls, ages 2, 16-months and 2 months and hysterically ran into the yard yelling dial 911, according to neighbors. There has been no motive of why this mother would stab her young children to death and nothing to pinpoint that something like this would occur. Coronado was charged on Friday with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder for trying to kill her own mother when she was discovered with her lifeless daughters. The charges carry special allegations of multiple murders and personally using a knife that would make Coronado eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Prosecutors had not decided whether to seek capital punishment.

Does this incident, along with many other infamous events of mothers killing their children, support the notion that there should be mandatory psychological testing and ongoing monitoring of all mothers for the safety of their children? When God’s smallest treasures are brutally murdered by the one person that should love and protect them the most, it really makes one wonder.

Our society has become so numb and inattentive that red flags go unnoticed. The ever increasing hustle and bustle of the California lifestyle makes the gap between the weak and worried and the strong and confident vastly greater than anywhere else in our nation. One thing is for sure, the mentally challenged (or impaired) are often forgotten, and in some cases, are expected to operate and function as normal. The statistics, although staggering, are not surprising; only when something drastic happens do we devote attention to the mentally disturbed.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 1 in 4 American adults—61.5 million—have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. According to the NIMH, serious mental illnesses cost the United States more than $317 billion annually in lost wages, health care expenditures and disability benefits. Meanwhile, mental illness continues to be ignored and dismissed. What will it take for the American population to realize and recognize that this is a real problem and that if it goes undiagnosed, it becomes criminal? No one has the answer for this question but be certain that as more and more criminal acts are committed by mentally ill people, society will have to take ownership of the signs that were ignored and be accountable for the overall partnership in the crime.

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