PLANT CITY, Fla. - Family members of a mother accused of killing her 5-week-old baby son said while they knew the woman did suffer from mental illness, they never expected this.
Plant City Police arrested 30-year-old Talae Thomas Friday. She made her first appearance in court Saturday where the judge read her arrest report, stating that Thomas told police she had drowned her son because he was the devil. She was denied bond.
"I was devastated", said Thomas' aunt, Winnie Durant.
Durant said she wants people to know that her niece is smart, dedicated, and was never violent. According to Durant, Thomas was happy about her pregnancy, which was her first child.
Durant said Thomas starting having mental issues in her 20's and was hospitalized for it at one point. She added that the illness forced Thomas to quit her job and move in with her father about three years ago.
"She's well educated. She was a nurse. But the problems began to get worse, having nervous breakdowns," added Durant.
Durant said Thomas was supposed to be taking medication.
"There was that sort of a void. You know, she wasn't the same person. And we knew that," said Durant.
But family members never thought Thomas would be accused of killing her child.
"We did not see it coming. It's like a train wreck. Did not see it coming," said Thomas' cousin, Angela Durant.
Her aunt said Thomas insisted on moving out of her dad's house after giving birth.
According to police, they found her close to that apartment Thursday night, along West Grant at South Alexander, laying in the median. Detectives said she stated she had lost her baby and needed to go to a hospital. While Thomas was transported, police stated they went to her apartment along the 300-block of West Grant to notify family and found the front door opened and Thomas' baby dead inside.
"Very sad. Very sad," said Thomas' aunt. "The things that was happening with her, was not her. It was the illness."
Thomas' aunt and cousin never got to meet her baby.
"It's tough, cause I'm like, I never got a chance to see him and everything," said Angela Durant.
Family members are hoping Thomas gets a complete diagnosis and gets the help she needs.