Trumps Inn in Orangeburg, where deputies say Shaquan Duley suffocated her children.
Trumps Inn in Orangeburg.
Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said Tuesday a mother, 29-year-old Shaquan Duley, intentionally suffocated her children, then put them in the Edisto River early Monday morning.
Williams made the revelation at a 10 a.m. news conference Tuesday, where he said he believes that the woman was upset and wanted to get rid of her children, and that's what led to the deaths. Related link: County Mourns Loss of Little Children
Shaquan Duley is now facing two charges of murder in the death of 18-month-old Ja'Van Duley and 2-year-old Devean Duley. Previous Coverage: Sheriff Seeking Murder Charges | Children Found Dead in River
The children's bodies were found in a vehicle in the Edisto River just off Shillings Bridge Road before 7 a.m. Monday.
She told investigators at first that she had an accident, and that's why the car was in the water.
However, Williams said the woman suffocated the children at the Trumps Inn in Orangeburg, where she's checked in the night before the deaths. Williams said she admitted killing them by placing her hand over their mouths. She then drove them to the Shillings Bridge Location, and that the children were dead when they were put in the water. Related Coverage: Motel Owner Says Shaquan Duley Seemed 'Nervous'
The children were still in their child seats when they were found. Orangeburg County Coroner Samuetta Marshall says there were signs of a struggle on the older child.
It's unclear, investigators say, if Shaquan Duley chose the location in advance.
"I believe she was angry, upset, and for some reason found Shillings Bridge Road and was looking for a place to discard the bodies," Williams said.
Williams says Shaquan Duley was unemployed and not financially stable and lived with her mother. According to Williams, Shaquan's mother was a "firm individual."
Williams said at this point, it appears the woman killed the children because she was 'fed up' with the responsibility of motherhood and wanted to 'be free.'
"She lived at mom's house, probably ate her mom's food... she had very little control. in her thoughts, except her children," Williams said. "I think she truly felt, 'If I don't have these two toddlers, I can be free.'"
Williams said Shaquan and her mother often clashed over how to raise the children.
"She often talked with her daughter about being more of a mother, about being more reliable," Williams said.
The night before the kids were placed in the river, there was a dispute between the mother and grandmother, and he feels that was the act that let to the killings.
Williams said the investigation has had an emotional impact on his officers and the community.
"They were two innocent little folk who were no harm to anyone and were taken away," Williams said.
According to Williams, Shaquan has a five-year-old child. That child is still living with a family member.
The father of the two victims has not been found.
She is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday afternoon. She will eventually undergo a mental evaluation.