Suspected baby abductor has long history of mental illness

by: Chris Legeros Updated:

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SEATTLE - Chelsey Helms was arrested for attempted abduction 10 days ago. Police said the 37-year-old woman briefly grabbed a woman's baby off a changing table in a bathroom at the Pike Place Market.  

According to eyewitnesses, Helms took the 11-month-old boy because she thought his mother was molesting him, while saying satanic verses.  

Daniel Livingston said, “The woman was saying 'I’m not going to let you do this anymore,' just kind of mumbling that was incoherent and stuff.”  

The bizarre behavior can probably best be explained by Chelsey's sister, Cassy, who requested that we not use her last name. Cassy said, “My sister is schizophrenic, and I knew a voice told her that that child was in danger, because she thinks children are often in danger and she thinks there are demons.” 

Cassy said Chelsey has been sick for more than 20 years. She has been constantly in and out of jails and hospitals. She's got a criminal history involving drugs and thefts, but mostly it's her mental problems that have gotten her into trouble.  

Cassy said, “It’s a vicious circle because what happens is she goes into a halfway house or she goes into a mental facility like Harborview or Western State and she breaks the rules or they release her. She’s a month in the hospital, then she’s homeless downtown and then she’s arrested because she hears voices.” 

The woman’s family doesn't have the cash to pay for long-term mental health care, and Cassy said the government apparently doesn't have the funds or programs to provide her sister with some hope of a normal life. She said, “I would like to see my sister in a hospital with her medication regulated, with her going to groups, and getting the help she needs. This breaks my heart.”  

Helms is currently in jail on $200,000 bail.  

There will be no effort to bail her out.  

Cassy said she sleeps better when her sister is in jail or the hospital because she knows that at least Helms will be safe.