A Wisconsin mother originally from Russia is accused of killing her son and attempting to “cut her heart” after she went days without sleeping, police said.
Around 5 p.m. on March 30, officers took Natalia Hitchcock, 41, into custody at her family's Sheboygan Falls apartment after she allegedly strangled her 8-year-old son, Oliver, and attempted to kill her other son, age 11, police said, WITI reported.
Oliver died two days later at the Children's Hospital in Milwaukee.
According to WITI, a witness claimed to police Hitchcock’s mental health was suffering in the wake of the Russian-Ukraine war.
“She had not been sleeping for the past five days, explaining that within the prior five days she [had] gotten approximately eight hours of sleep,” officers wrote in a criminal complaint after speaking with Hitchcock at an area hospital.
“She went on to say that at approximately 4 p.m., she began to have a ‘brain fog,’” the complaint reads. “Hitchcock also stated ‘she did not have control of her thoughts and heard voices in her head.’”
Before her son’s slaying, she allegedly told investigators that she feared the “Russian government was going to take her children and abuse them” and said “people looked at her as a Russian spy” and “she was being sold by people on the dark web,” according to the complaint.
At the time of her arrest, according to the complaint, Hitchcock had ingested Tylenol and had a “a critical amount” in her system.
In the complaint, police said Hitchcock indicated that “she felt like she had no other choice but to take her life” and allegedly said “if she killed herself she did not want her kids to be abused and that she thought to herself that she was going to ‘End his suffering with my hands.’”
On April 5, Hitchcock was indicted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide and her bond was set at $1 million.
In the courtroom, WITI reported, Hitchcock told her husband, “I love you, okay? I'm so, so sorry. I don't know what's happened.”
Hitchcock had no criminal history, and her brother-in-law, Eric Hitchcock, said there were no previous indications she needed so much help, WDJT reported.
“The way she acted wasn't indicative of her actually committing murder and doing this horrible thing…you just don't think it could ever happen,” he said.