Mother dies, baby injured in 8-storey fall

2013-03-14 20:23

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - A woman clutching her baby son in her arms plunged eight storeys out of an apartment window to her death in an apparent suicide on Wednesday, but the baby survived, police said.

Cynthia Wachenheim was found on the street with her son, 10-month-old Keston, near her arms. A police officer who responded took the baby to a hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Police discovered a seven-page suicide note under a bed in the apartment Wachenheim shared with her husband.

In the note, the 45-year-old Wachenheim said she recognised what she was about to do was "evil" but she was concerned about how her child was developing, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.

The official was not authorised to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

No signs of struggle


It was unclear whether the baby, who neighbours said was an only child, had any mental or physical problems.

A window to the West Harlem apartment was wide open, and there were no signs of struggle inside, police said. There were no safety bars on the apartment's windows. Surveillance footage showed Wachenheim's husband leaving the apartment about an hour before her plunge from the window with the baby.

Area resident Steven Dominguez, 18, was walking to a grocery store with his mother, Adelina Dominguez, when he saw the woman fall. He said the baby bounced off her body, breaking some of the impact of the fall, before hitting the ground nearby.

"I heard a scream like a yell," Dominguez said. "When I got closer, I saw the baby crying."

He said the baby was face down.

"I was shocked," he said. "I couldn't believe it."

Dominguez said his mother went to pick up the baby but an emergency response person told her to stand back.

The apartment is in a relatively new building facing Jackie Robinson Park. A crowd of onlookers had gathered nearby on Wednesday afternoon, awaiting the medical examiner's office, which would determine the official cause of the woman's death.

Resident Yaa Dwamena, 32, said she's lived in the building for several years and as long as she's been there she's seen Wachenheim. "She was very nice, very friendly, very warm," She said.

Wachenheim went to law school at Columbia University, and her father was a state police spokesperson before his death in 2011. She worked in state Supreme Court in Manhattan doing legal research for judges but was out on leave, court officials said.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.