SWEDEN, N.Y. — A mother is charged with murder following a fatal stabbing in the town of Sweden.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter (D) says deputies were called to a home on South Lake Road around 8:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of a suicidal woman with a knife. He says when deputies went inside the house they found a young boy dead, with signs of trauma to his body. The boy, Abraham Cardenas, was 7 years old.
The suspect, 36-year-old Hanane Mouhib, was arraigned in Sweden Town Court and charged with second degree murder. She's being held without bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 11.
Court paperwork says Mouhib used a large-bladed kitchen knife to stab the boy in the neck, causing the victim's head to be severed from his body. Sheriff Baxter says Mouhib is the boy's mother.
The sheriff says responding deputies used pepper spray and a taser to apprehend the suspect after she refused to drop her knife. Baxter says aside from Mouhib and the victim, there were also an adult male, believed to be the husband/father, the adult male's mother, and a 10-year-old child in the home at the time of the incident. Police say none of them were injured and that they were in a different room when the incident occurred.
"There is no explanation for this," Baxter said. "The word 'evil' comes to mind."
Sheriff Baxter also went into Mouhib’s mental health history. She sought help twice in March because she was dealing with mental health issues.
“I don’t think you’ll ever be able to put words to an explanation as to what happened last night," Baxter said.
According to officials form the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Mouhib was a nurse practitioner at Rochester Mental Health Center.
Cardenas was a first grade student at Barclay Elementary School. Officials from the Brockport Central School District say counselors will be available to provide support throughout the week for students, staff and families. The district released a statement, saying in part:
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. Abraham Cardenas was a first-grader at Barclay Elementary School. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Abraham’s family, friends and all affected by this tragedy. Any loss of life is a loss to our entire community."
The district's superintendent says the crisis team will take a personal approach with students rather than address the school as a whole.
"What we do and what we say in Abe's class is going to be different than what we do in other classes that didn't necessarily interact with him regularly or didn't even know him. Our team has really put together very specific resources, almost like if you would imagine a target and the center would be those who are closest to Abe,” said Superintendent Lesli Myers.
Sheriff Baxter says this is an active investigation with "a ton of work left to do."
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says Mouhib, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.