Mother detained after toddler and baby fatally stabbed in Bronx

Two young children died Saturday night at a family home in the Bronx after being stabbed multiple times in the neck and torso, and their mother was in custody, authorities said.

New York police identified the children as boys, ages 11 months and 3 years, but did not release their names. Police referred to her mother as a “person of interest” but did not release her name either.

Police officers were dispatched to the Mount Hope neighborhood shelter at 7:20 p.m. to investigate a report of a woman attempting to burn items near the kitchen area, New York Police Department deputy chief Louis De Ceglie said during a news conference late Saturday.

Officers found the woman naked in the third-floor unit on the 200 block of Echo Place, Chief De Ceglie said. She was behaving “irrationally,” and officers took her into custody without incident before taking her to a nearby hospital for a check-up, he said. Chief De Ceglie said the woman was 24 years old; A later police release said she was 22 years old.

Shortly after, around 7:55 p.m., police received another call reporting that two babies in the same location were not breathing, Chief De Ceglie said.

Officers returned to the home and found the two children with stab wounds, he said. They were taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital but died from their injuries, he said.

In recent years, New York City has recorded about a dozen domestic homicides of children under the age of 10 each year police statistics. Killings of multiple children were rare. But last year, a Queens woman was charged murder of her twin childrenand in September, a mother was charged with drowning her three children in the Coney Island surf.

On Saturday night in the Bronx, neighbors peered out windows at police as reporters gathered under the family’s apartment, which was on the third floor of an eight-story building.

Michelle Rivera, 23, said she came from Queens when she heard about what had happened to kids she “watched growing up”. She described herself as a “street family” and said she was close to the children’s father. Ms Rivera was visibly upset as she described the mother’s behavior.

“She always had an issue with her significant other,” Ms. Rivera said. She said the mother had shown a short temper towards her children, getting angry when they cried for a bottle, for example.

“She never had patience,” Ms. Rivera said. “Everyone offered to help”

Charlotte Obiri, 47, a neighbor, said she knew the jailed woman from around the neighborhood and saw her frequently with her children and father on the street, in the store and at nearby Echo Park. Mrs Obiri was visibly shocked as she described how the two boys were brought down.

“They brought the baby out and worked on him — and then they brought the little boy out on a stretcher and he looked lifeless,” she said. “He was naked and looked lifeless. I still see the image in my head.”

Ms Obiri and other neighbors struggled to process the gruesome scene and the fact that the children’s mother was in custody.

“I’m sick,” Mrs. Obiri said. “I threw up.”

Liset Cruz contributed reporting. Mother detained after toddler and baby fatally stabbed in Bronx

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