A Utah mother was taken into police custody this week and is facing a murder charge after allegedly confessing to killing her 4-year-old daughter.
Nicole Lester, 29, was booked Tuesday morning into the Salt Lake County Jail on an aggravated murder charge, the West Valley City Police Department said via Twitter. They later identified the victim as Lester’s 4-year-old daughter, Laney Vos.
An unnamed neighbor told police that Lester asked to borrow her phone and when she returned it, told her that she’d just killed her daughter, the Gephardt Daily reports. Valley Emergency Communications Center confirmed that they received a call on Tuesday from Lester, who allegedly confessed to killing her daughter and said that she wanted to turn herself in to police, the outlet reports, citing charging documents. Upon their arrival, authorities arrested Lester —who was waiting for them in front of her home wearing bloody clothing — and entered the house; they found a young girl dead, possibly of stab wounds, in the basement, according to the outlet.
“Officers noted many sharp edged type wounds to the deceased female’s body,” reads a probable cause statement obtained by the outlet.
Lester lived in the home with her grandmother, her daughter, and her 6-year-old son, KSL reports. The grandmother, who owns the house, wasn't present at the time of the attack, but she later returned and took custody of the boy, who police found sleeping on the main floor, according to the outlet.
“It’s hard to even comprehend something like this,” police spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku said, according to KSL. “This is something that’s extremely difficult.”
Lester is facing one count of aggravated murder and is currently being held without bail, according to the Gephardt Daily.
Neighbors interviewed by KSL seemed shocked by the violent act, and reported that they did not observe any warning signs. One neighbor, Tanya Powell, told the station, “It’s devastating; she was a beautiful little girl.”
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