A young mother in Bellefontaine, Ohio, has confessed to an incomprehensible crime and given a reason that's equally hard to understand. Police say 23-year-old Brittany Pilkington has told investigators that she killed her three young sons over a 13-month period, and that she did so because her husband, Joseph Pilkington, wasn't paying enough attention to their 3-year-old daughter, the Columbus Dispatch reports. She has been charged with murder in the deaths of 3-month-old Niall, who died in July last year; 4-year-old Gavin, who died in April this year; and 3-month-old Noah, who died yesterday—just six days after a judge returned him to his parents when a coroner decided the other two boys hadn't died of suspicious causes.
Noah had been removed from the home soon after his birth, along with the 3-year-old girl, and Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee says his office wanted to keep them in state custody for longer, the Dayton Daily News reports. He tells the Dispatch that hours after the latest death, Pilkington admitted smothering the boys with a blanket and in her mind, "she was protecting her daughter from being not as loved as the boys were by their father." Joseph Pilkington's brother tells the Dispatch that his brother—who found the bodies of the first two boys after returning home from work at a Honda plant—is so distraught that he's considering admitting himself to the hospital. "I just feel real bad for my brother," he says. "It's messed up." The couple married when Brittany was 18 and Joseph was 38. (Read more child murder stories.)