WHITTIER, Calif. — Octuplet mother Nadya Suleman became unhinged with fear last year when she thought she had lost one of her children, repeatedly telling an emergency dispatcher, "Oh God, I'm going to kill myself," according to a recording of her 911 call released Wednesday by police.
Suleman made the call Oct. 27 after her 5-year-old son went missing from the front yard, only to find him a few minutes later after he returned from a walk.
Suleman's repeated threats of suicide prompted a chiding from the dispatcher, who could hear children's voices in the background.
"Don't say that in front of your other child, OK?" the dispatcher tells Suleman. "Keep yourself under control for your other child; he doesn't need to hear that."
Suleman, an unemployed single mother, has come under scrutiny since giving birth to octuplets Jan. 26 when she already had six other children, ages 2 to 7. Talk show hosts, celebrities and others have weighed in on the topic, with some questioning her ability to look after 14 children.
The dramatic call Suleman made three months before the octuplets' birth resulted in a police visit to her home in Whittier, about 15 miles east of Los Angeles. It was among a number of visits authorities have made to the house in the last 14 months.
The 911 tape begins with Suleman repeatedly asking the operator, "Where's my son?" before she provides an address or any information. She eventually tells the operator she hadn't seen Joshua Jacob for an hour and he had been playing in the front yard, and she feared he was kidnapped.
The call ended with Suleman sobbing hysterically upon finding the child, saying, "He went on a walk and came back by himself."
Police and the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services visited Suleman's home in July in response to a complaint that the children appeared poorly cared for, but both agencies determined the complaint was unfounded.
Suleman, in an interview with RadarOnline.com, said the neighbor who alerted police was unhappy because her family was loud and she allowed her children to play in the mud.
Police also once visited the home to let a child out of a locked bedroom.