Mother undergoing mental evaluation after driving children into - WRBL

Mother undergoing mental evaluation after driving children into ocean

Posted: Updated:
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (WFLA) -

A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean off Florida had talked about demons before leaving the house, according to her sister who worriedly called police, officials said during a news conference Wednesday.

After the call to dispatch Tuesday, Daytona Beach police officers stopped 31-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's black Honda Odyssey and she expressed fear that her husband would be coming to Florida to harm her and her children, said Police Chief Mike Chitwood.

"When we spoke with her she was lucid," Chitwood said. "The children were in the back seat, they were buckled in and were not in distress. Although the sergeant said she looked like she had some mental illness, she did not fit the criteria for going into custody under the Baker Act."

The Florida Mental Health Act, commonly known as the Baker Act, allows authorities to involuntarily take people into custody if they seem to be a threat to themselves.

Two hours after the police stop, Wilkerson drove into the ocean. Bystanders and officers helped pull her and her children - ages 3, 9 and 10 - from their minivan as it was almost submerged.

Ebony Wilkerson's sister told police she was concerned about her sister's mental state, Chitwood said.

"Her sister had called dispatch and told them that she (Wilkerson) had been talking about demons that day before she left the house," Chitwood said.

Chitwood said Wilkerson went to Halifax Health Medical Center on Monday to voluntarily check herself but then decided against it and walked out.

The children were turned over to welfare authorities. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Wilkerson was undergoing a mental evaluation. Sheriff Ben Johnson said it's too early to say whether Wilkerson will face criminal charges.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


  • NewsMore>>

  • Former Marine's computer damaged during trip to Tampa

    Former Marine's computer damaged during trip to Tampa

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:35:25 GMT
    Farina's computer arrived in this damaged package from UPS.Farina's computer arrived in this damaged package from UPS.
    Vincent Farina had a plan when he left the Marines to pursue his degree in game design.But that plan was stalled when his computer was damage while shipped from Camp Pendleton, California to Tampa.
    Vincent Farina had a plan when he left the Marines to pursue his degree in game design.But that plan was stalled when his computer was damage while shipped from Camp Pendleton, California to Tampa.
  • Four survive St. Petersburg plane crash

    Four survive St. Petersburg plane crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:58:51 GMT
    Crews removed the wreckage from Vinoy Park on Monday night.Crews removed the wreckage from Vinoy Park on Monday night.

    With rescue crews on their way, Kerry Moser grabbed his cell and captured images just minutes after a plane went down Monday morning at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. On the video you can hear a bystander talking to the pilot – “We're right here. I'm trying to help you. I don't want you to. . . Buddy. We got help on the way.”

    With rescue crews on their way, Kerry Moser grabbed his cell and captured images just minutes after a plane went down Monday morning at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. On the video you can hear a bystander talking to the pilot – “We're right here. I'm trying to help you. I don't want you to. . . Buddy. We got help on the way.”

  • Sarasota health aide charged with stealing from elderly client

    Sarasota health aide charged with stealing from elderly client

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:56:56 GMT
    Investigators say Horton, 42, took advantage of an elderly Venice woman. Investigators say Horton, 42, took advantage of an elderly Venice woman.
    A 42-year-old North Port home health in is behind bars for bilking an elderly client out of approximately $5,000.Michelle Horton, an employee of Almost Family Inc., was booked into the Sarasota County Jail where she is being held on a bond of $20,000.
    A 42-year-old North Port home health in is behind bars for bilking an elderly client out of approximately $5,000.Michelle Horton, an employee of Almost Family Inc., was booked into the Sarasota County Jail where she is being held on a bond of $20,000.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.