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07 November 2014

Mother charged with throwing autistic son from bridge

An Oregon woman has been charged with aggravated murder after allegedly throwing her 6-year-old autistic son from a bridge in the coastal town of Newport.

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An Oregon woman who prosecutors say threw her 6-year-old autistic son from a bridge in the coastal town of Newport and then called police to confess to the crime was charged on Tuesday with aggravated murder and manslaughter.

Jillian McCabe, 34, made an initial appearance in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Tuesday but did not enter a plea after her arraignment on the charges was postponed. Authorities say McCabe called police around 6:25 p.m. local time on Monday to say she had tossed her son London from the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Read: Living with autism

The U.S. Coast Guard sent two boats and a helicopter to help search for London before his body was spotted in the water near the Embarcadero Resort, about a mile from the bridge, by a diner about four hours later, police say. A website previously set up by McCabe to seek financial aid, helpmatt.org, described her family as facing financial challenges following a brain injury that landed her husband, Matt, in the hospital for four months last year, and left him unemployed upon his release.

"With London's autism, the financial and emotional load of Matt not being there for month after month is more than most of us can understand," she wrote on the site. "But not more than we could help with. Donations of time, child care, and money have all helped the McCabe family through this last year." Newport is a town of about 10,000 about 115 miles southwest of Portland.

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