Houston Chronicle

June 20, 2001

5 kids found slain in Clear Lake

Houston Chronicle

video of kids
Associated Press
Three of the five children found dead this morning, John Yates, left, Paul Yates and Noah Yates, far right, are shown at a birthday party in this home video taken Saturday in Clear Lake.
Five children were found slain today in a Clear Lake house, and their mother has been arrested.

The mother, Andrea Yates, told police that she was responsible for killing the children, ages 6 months to 7 years. Police say it appears the children were drowned in a bath tub.

Shortly before 10 a.m., police were called to the residence in the 900 block of Beachcomber, apparently by the 36-year-old woman, who met an officer at the door.

"She led him in," said John Cannon, a spokesman for the Houston police department. "She said, `I just killed my kids,'" then led the officer to a back bedroom where four of the bodies were found on a bed. Another officer found the body of the oldest child in the bath tub, Cannon said.

The dead Yates children were identified as:

At some point, the mother also called her husband to come home from work, and police were questioning him at the scene this afternoon, although he was not considered a suspect.

Police have not determined a motive.

Steve Campbell/Chronicle
Russell E.Yates,the father of five children who were killed in their Clear Lake City home, leaves his house with a police officer.
Pat Salas, who lives across from the tidy, single-family home, said three of the boys and the husband attended a birthday party at her home near Johnson Space Center over the weekend.

"We asked him why his wife didn't come, and he said she didn't get out much because she suffered from depression," Salas said.

She said the family had lived across the street for about four years, but that they had not socialized before the birthday party and seldom saw the woman outside.

Cannon said the officer that had been summoned to the scene was in shock.

"It is just rather unimaginable," Cannon said. "It's difficult to deal with when you are talking about five little kids who were killed, probably systematically."

Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle