BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The family of a Tennessee woman who has repeatedly tried to break into the White House says she suffers from mental health issues.
Jessica Ford was arrested, most recently last week, for trying to drive her van through a security gate. Her family fears she’ll be released from custody without getting the mental help she needs.
“She is very delusional. She thinks that her children are in the White House. That’s why she keeps going up there,” says Ford’s cousin, Victoria Walls.
Ford’s family says serious psychological issues are at the heart of her repeated arrests.
“She decided when she left that it was Christmas Eve. She said ‘I’ve got to be there by Christmas Day,'” her mother, Alice Wilson, said.
In court, the 35-year-old told a judge she believes her fiancé is the president.
This was Ford’s fourth trip this year, driving from Tennessee to Washington, D.C.
The Secret Service was prepared for Ford’s arrival last week after her family tipped them off.
“I think that’s the reason they didn’t kill her, because they knew she was coming and knew she had a BB gun,” Wilson said.
But each time Ford has been arrested, she has been released a few days later.
Sheriff Daron Hall of Nashville, Tennessee, says cases like these often happen again and again until the person in need of care gets help.
“Until you arrest the real issue — and it’s not the person, it’s illness or addiction — you’ll see people keep doing this,” Hall said.
Now, facing several felony charges, Ford could end up in prison or possibly released once again.
Ford has several children in her home, near Nashville, but she doesn’t believe they are hers.