Woman who drove car into Kansas River was trying to kill herself, court documents say

Scharron Renea Dingledine

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Court documents say a Columbia woman who drove into the Kansas River in Lawrence was trying to take her own life.

Scharron Dingledine is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 5-year-old daughter and attempted first-degree murder for injuries suffered by her 1-year-old son.

On Aug. 3, Lawrence police were dispatched to Powerhouse Road on a report of a car in the river. Responding officers pulled Dingledine and her son from the water. Court documents say the little boy was dead when he arrived at a nearby hospital, but he was revived and is still in critical condition.

Crews recovered the 5-year-old girl’s body the next morning.

According to court documents, when Lawrence police pulled Dingledine from the river, she repeatedly said something to the effect of “Let me die.”

When police later interviewed Dingledine, she told officers she had been in several physical and verbal domestic incidents with her boyfriend that week in Columbia. One of those incidents led to her voluntarily being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for several hours.

When she came home Aug. 2, she told police she was going to go to a shelter, and her boyfriend agreed to drive her. According to court documents, when they stopped to get drinks, she took the car when her children inside when her boyfriend was inside.

She left Columbia and drove to Mexico, Missouri, where she allegedly stole a car. She then drove to Kansas City, spent the night and drove to Lawrence the next morning.

Dingledine told police she drove around Lawrence “feeling depressed and worried about the consequences from her actions,” court documents say. Later that afternoon, she told police she “decided she was going to kill herself and kill the children because she didn’t want anyone else to have them.”

Court documents say she told police both children were in the front seat with her, unrestrained, when she drove into the river.

A judge has set a $1 million bond.


If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

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