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N.J. mom accused of drowning 2 kids for ‘religious purposes’ to undergo psych evaluation

A New Jersey mother accused of killing her two children was ordered Monday to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Naomi Elkins, 27, appeared virtually for a short hearing in Ocean County court on Monday, NJ.com reported.

Elkins’ defense team asked for the evaluation, and a judge agreed, according to Asbury Park Press. She will remain behind bars until at least July 29 and will undergo the mental health evaluation on July 18.

First responders arrived at Elkins’ home in Lakewood on June 25 after she called to report an emergency, according to authorities. The rescue workers found Elkins’ two daughters, ages 3 and 1, dead in the home.

Medical examiners determined both girls had been drowned in bathtubs inside the home, about 45 miles south of Manhattan. Elkins told police that, before she killed the girls, she’d been having “concerning thoughts” and prayed on the issue, according to charging documents.

Police said Elkins admitted to then stabbing her 1-year-old daughter, filling up the bathtub and drowning her. She then found her 3-year-old daughter and drowned her in a different tub, according to police.

Elkins told cops she killed the girls for “religious purposes,” according to charging documents. After the killings, Elkins’ defense attorney released a statement.

“The sad truth is, Naomi Elkins has a well-documented history of severe mental illness, which has absolutely played a major role in these devastating events,” lawyer Mitchell Ansell said. “While we acknowledge the seriousness of the charges that she is facing and respect same, we also believe that it’s important to recognize the incredible complexities presented by mental health challenges.”

Elkins’ husband had left for a work trip to Virginia in May and was not home at the time of the killings.


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