According to CBS News, an Arizona woman who recently lost custody of her two children to her husband poisoned them in an attempt to keep her husband from getting them back. As the story goes, Marilyn Edge, 42, lost custody of her 13-year-old autistic son Jaelen and her 9-year-old daughter Faith just last Wednesday. The case, a rollercoaster one, began after the Edges divorced in 2007. Mark Edge sometimes worked in Afghanistan as a contractor and Marilyn claimed that her ex-husband had ditched child-support payments. She even claimed that her children were sexually abused by one of his friends, which wasn’t proven.
Marilyn initially won full custody in October 2009, but Mark fought back, claiming he was unaware of the hearing where she won because he was overseas and hadn’t been informed that he was to appear in court. The ruling was overturned. He won this most recent hearing because even though they were supposed to share custody after another ruling at one point, he was still being kept out of the lives of his children. Mark was able to prove to the judge that Marilyn had gone out of her way to keep Jaelen and Faith from him (claiming he hadn’t seen them in more than a year), and nothing was more evident of that than her moving to Arizona right after the joint-custody ruling. The judge agreed that she was alienating him from the children and decided that Mr. Edge should be granted full custody. She sent a text to her ex-husband telling him she would bring the kids to him on Sunday saying, “I will see you on Sunday and I have their school records.” Sunday at noon was the deadline given to Marilyn for when the children needed to be handed over. But she never intended to do that, because if she couldn’t have them, he definitely couldn’t. Jaelen and Faith were found dead on Saturday in a hotel room in Santa Ana.
The two children were found after Marilyn Edge was picked up by police for crashing her car in a botched suicide attempt that same Saturday. She drove into an electrical box with propane in her car outside of a nearby shopping complex. When police arrived, she tried to choke herself to death with an electrical cord but was stopped. She later fessed up to poisoning Jaelen and Faith, and told authorities that they could find her children in the hotel room.
On Monday, Marilyn Edge was charged with two counts of murder “with special circumstances” for having admitted to poisoning her children. Their father, who lived in Atlanta, was taken to the hospital for extreme duress after hearing the news on Sunday, instead of being reunited with his kids as he’d hoped. According to Marilyn’s last lawyer in her custody case, Edge was calm after receiving the order from the judge that she had lost custody, and there was no reason to believe that she would do anything to harm them.
This is just a devastating story, not only because of the constant back and forth custody battles that had the children all over the place in the last few years, but because the woman they trusted in most betrayed them in such a way.