Jillian McCabe, the Oregon mother accused of throwing her autistic 6-year-old son London off a bridge, was devoted to the boy but went into a downward spiral after her husband developed multiple sclerosis and her father died, relatives tell NBC. She detailed her struggles and the ups and downs of caring for the boy in a blog and in a series of YouTube videos. "I love London so much and I want him to further progress and grow and be happy," she wrote in a 2011 post. "Autism is a thief that has stolen my son from me. No matter what progress London makes, I live in constant fear that he will regress again or that he will get even worse." In another post, she listed the things that stop her from "pulling a Thelma and Louise"—among them, therapy, a Thomas Jefferson quote, and the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
In a YouTube video posted a year ago, McCabe thanked friends and family for support, the Oregonian reports. "Now I have a slightly disabled and amazing husband, and I feel alone, and I feel all of a sudden I'm this caregiver and I don't feel like a whole person who can take this on," she said, but "everyone else is making me whole.'' She is being held on charges including aggravated murder, which carries a potential death sentence. "It's a great tragedy," the boy's great-aunt tells the AP. She tells NBC that McCabe was compassionate and incredibly patient with her son, but she "really struggled with her mental health and I know she was just out of her mind when this happened." McCabe's brother-in-law says the family tried hard to get psychiatric services for her but faced very limited options in the public health system. (Read more autism stories.)