An Ohio woman has confessed that she suffocated her three young sons over the course of a year, police say.
Brittany Pilkington, 23, told authorities that she killed the boys because her husband, Joseph Pilkington, gave them more attention than he gave to the couple's daughter. Pilkington, of Bellefontaine, is charged with three counts of murder.
“In her mind, she was protecting her daughter from being not as loved as the boys were by their father,” Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee told the Columbus Dispatch.
The third death and subsequent confession occurred just six days after a judge returned Pilkington's children to her from foster care, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Pilkington called 911 early on Tuesday to report that her 3-month-old son, Noah, was not breathing, Bellefontaine police said in a news release. The child was unresponsive and sent to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
It was the third time in 13 months they had been sent to the same address under similar circumstances, so authorities "began a tedious investigation into Noah's death," the release said.
Police went to the residence in July 2014 after Joseph Pilkington returned home from work and reported that he had found his 3-month-old son, Niall, dead. The cause of death was undetermined due to lack of evidence at the scene, police said.
Their 4-year-old son, Gavin, was then found dead at home in April this year, authorities said. That case is still open.
Police spent Tuesday interviewing Brittany Pilkington, who confessed that she intentionally killed all three of her sons, police said in the news release.
The couple's 3-year-old daughter was returned to foster care Tuesday.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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