A woman whose 2-year-old son was found dead in their River Heights home was found incompetent to stand trial in the child’s death on Monday.
Heidi Marie Rutchey, 42, is charged in Logan’s 1st District Court with first-degree felony murder in the death of her son, Eli.
On Monday, Judge Thomas Willmore said he received two evaluations that indicated the woman was not competent and could not understand and appreciate the charge against her. He ordered her to be transferred from the Cache County jail to the Utah State Hospital to receive treatment.
“But I’m not,” Rutchey told the judge as he read the order. “Your honor, I’m not. I’m not incompetent.”
Rutchey also told the judge she had information about “Palestine” and asked someone to call the FBI because she had “information.” The judge shushed her several times throughout her court appearance, as she constantly interrupted him.
An investigation by the medical examiner revealed that Rutchey’s son died from suffocation or “some kind of airway interruption,” according to a probable cause statement filed with the court.
Forensic tests determined that Eli had already been dead a week or more when law enforcement found his body on Sepr. 4. Court documents say the boy died as early as Aug. 27.
Cache County sheriff’s deputies discovered the boy’s death shortly after the mother went to Logan Regional Hospital seeking emergency medical treatment for herself on Sept. 4 for “a number of medical issues,” according to the sheriff’s office.
When hospital staff learned that she had a child, they were concerned for his well-being and sent law enforcement officers to check on him.
While at the hospital, the mother was distraught, court documents state. She called herself a “baby killer” and told hospital personnel that “something terrible has happened” and “he suffocated in the tub.”
Rutchey remained hospitalized for several weeks before being booked into the Cache County jail.
After she was taken into custody, Rutchey told officers she had suffocated her son by placing her hand over his mouth and nose, the probable cause statement states. She then tried to kill herself by overdosing on medication.