Detectives say Mitaru confessed to cutting her four-year-old son's throat. Detectives say she told them she wanted to kill all nine of her children but they woke up screaming. “I'm a mother of two. I have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old,” Lamke said. “I don't even spank my kids. If you can't handle your kids, call for help.”
According to court documents Mitaru had a history of mental health problems dating back to 1997 including several hospitalizations. Her husband became her legal guardian in 2002. He told court officials Mitaru had erratic behavior. He described Mitaru “taking the children’s beds outside, gathering clothes in a bag and burning them outside, burning books, her medical insurance card and driver’s license.”
The court granted legal guardianship in 2002. “If the husband became her guardian, where was he?” Lamke questioned. “You drive by and he'd be there one minute. You'd come back by a few minutes later and he won't be there,” neighbor Mike Cole said. “It's hard to say where he is at.” According to court documents, Mitaru's husband terminated legal guardianship in 2003. In the court documents, he wrote he was terminating the guardianship because his wife was "ok now."
Lamke says she only met Mitaru's husband when they went to court because the Mitaru's son shot at her van. “They shot at my van with my two kids in the van,” Lamke said. Lamke also made a hotline call to report possible neglect. “I called Family Services. I don't know the outcome of that one because they won't let me know,” Lamke said. “To me there were too many kids. At one point, I saw 17 kids down there living in a three bedroom home. “
Outside the Mitaru home someone spray painted “I love you” and “don't break my heart.” Neighbors say it's heartbreaking to know a four-year-old is clinging to life. “I hope he gets better and he recovers,” Lamke said. “It's a shame that it happened. I hope that he gets to find a good loving home with someone to love him like he should be loved.”
Officials say the four-year-old boy is in stable condition in a Springfield hospital. Mitaru is held in the Polk County Jail on a $250,000 bond.