The father of the 7-year-old girl who plunged off a Portland bridge expressed appreciation for those who aided in her miraculous survival. He also said he's "extremely distraught" over the loss of his 4-year-old son who did not survive the 75-foot drop into the bone-chilling Willamette River blamed on his mother.
PORTLAND (AP) — The father of the 7-year-old girl who plunged off a Portland bridge expressed appreciation for those who aided in her miraculous survival.
Jason Smith, however, is "extremely distraught" at the loss of his 4-year-son, Eldon Smith, who drowned following the 75-foot drop that is blamed on the mother of the children.
"His daughter is doing well and he says it's a miracle," Smith's lawyer, Laura Schantz, told The Oregonian newspaper. "He's extremely grateful to all the people who called 9-1-1 and especially to the couple who rescued his daughter and son from the river."
That couple, David Haag and Cheryl Robb, pulled the children into their boat at about 2 a.m. Saturday. It was about a quarter-mile downstream from the Sellwood Bridge.
"One was face down, the other was on her back — flailing, gasping for air," Haag told KATU-TV.
The mother, Amanda Jo Stott-Smith, was arrested later that morning at a Portland parking garage. Stott-Smith, 31, remained on suicide watch Monday at a Multnomah County jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of murder and attempted murder.
The girl, whose name hasn't been released, has spoken with investigators and is expected to fully recover.
Police have still not released a motive. Court records show Stott-Smith filed for separation from her husband in March. State child welfare officials are working with Portland police.
Police have said the couple had joint custody of the children.
In late February, shortly before separating from her husband, Stott-Smith relinquished custody of an older son from a previous relationship, according to court records.
Nathan Beck, the father of that son, said Stott-Smith was not opposed to the arrangement, and the two simply agreed it was a good time for the boy "to live with his dad."
Beck said he and Stott-Smith, who were never married, have had regular contact through the years. He said Stott-Smith has been a full-time mother. He declined comment on questions related to her performance as a mother and her financial picture.
He said their son is aware of the crime his mother is accused of committing. "It's hard for him and his entire family," Beck said.
Portland police arrested Stott-Smith on a domestic-assault charge in 2000. In recent years, her contact with police has been limited to parking and speeding tickets.
The 9-1-1 recordings from the case will be released midweek.