An upstate New York community is reeling after a mother allegedly decapitated her young son just 10 days after she was released from a psychiatric hospital.
"There’s absolutely no explanation for us," Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said at a Friday press conference. "The word ‘evil’ comes to mind. [...] This is a mother who took her son’s life."
Police on Thursday night responded to calls about a suicidal woman with a knife in the rural town of Sweden. Deputies arrived at a home to find Hanane Mouhib holding a large-bladed kitchen knife, and they used pepper spray and a stun gun to subdue her, police said. Then they made a horrible discovery: A decapitated child.
Mouhib stabbed her 7-year-old son Abraham Cardenas in his back before severing his head, according to court documents. Her husband and her mother-in-law, as well as Cardenas’ 10-year-old brother, were at the home during the slaying. Baxter said the killing appeared to be "an isolated incident" preceded by no warning signs.
Mental health problems might have been a factor in the attack, police said. Mouhib, 36, was released from a hospital mental health unit days before the killing, The Associated Press reported.
Mouhib worked at a Rochester psychiatric center as a licensed nurse practitioner. In March, Mouhib called police twice to have them arrange to take her to a psychiatric unit in Rochester, Baxter said.
At the press conference, Brockport Superintendent Lesli Myers said Abraham was "incredibly vibrant, an engaged learner and was beloved by his teachers and our school community. He lit up a room anytime he entered it."
Mouhib has been booked on second-degree murder charges and she’s being held without bail after pleading not guilty. She is expected to return to Sweden Town Court on Wednesday, after the case is presented to a Monroe County grand jury, according to the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester.
[Photos: Monroe County Sheriff’s Department]