Mother Who Drowned 5 Children Refuses Release

Kerrville, Texas – Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who infamously drowned her five children in 2001 due to postpartum psychosis, remains in a mental institution where she has chosen to decline annual reviews of her mental state. Yates recently refused another hearing that could have potentially led to her release from the facility.

Now 60 years old, Yates resides in Kerrville State Hospital, a venue that offers inpatient mental health services to individuals who have been acquitted of criminal charges due to mental health reasons. Within the confines of the institution, Yates spends her days creating greeting cards and other craft items, often embellished with images of rainbows and butterflies.

She sells her handmade crafts at various art shows and festivals, with the proceeds going to the Yates Children’s Memorial Fund, a charity that supports individuals grappling with postpartum depression.

Despite being in a mental institution, Yates has internet access and regularly visits a family website created by her ex-husband, Rusty. This website contains photographs of the children she tragically killed. On June 20, 2001, Yates, 37 at the time, drowned her five young children in the bathtub of their suburban Houston home while Rusty was at work.

During the trial, court records revealed that Yates waited for her husband to leave for his job as a NASA engineer before committing the unspeakable act, systematically drowning each of her children – Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke, 2, and Mary, 6 months. Afterward, she made multiple 911 calls to report the deaths before contacting Rusty and requesting his return home.

Initially, Yates faced five counts of capital murder and the prosecution sought the death penalty. The defense, however, argued that Yates was suffering from severe depression and psychosis following childbirth, which ultimately led to her committing the unthinkable crime. They advocated for intensive mental health treatment instead of imprisonment.

Originally, Yates was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, her lawyers appealed the case based on her mental health condition, leading to a retrial. In 2006, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was subsequently sent to Kerrville. While she qualifies for a hearing to assess her sanity, she is under no obligation to seek release and can spend the remainder of her life at the facility, as mandated by court orders. Despite divorce and her ex-husband’s subsequent remarriage, Yates maintains monthly contact with Rusty.

George Parnham, Yates’ defense attorney, has consistently expressed that Yates is content and flourishing at Kerrville, viewing it as her only true home for the past 17 years. Parnham firmly believes that she is exactly where she wants and needs to be.