An Ohio mother allegedly beheaded her 3-month-old baby girl, placed the murder weapon in the baby’s hand, and then went to bed.
After her family discovered the scene, the mother, 20-year-old Deasia Watkins, was taken to the hospital for evaluation. She had previously been ordered to stay away from her 3-month-old daughter, Janiyah, after being hospitalized for psychiatric issues.
She was later booked on aggravated murder charges and appeared before a judge on Friday morning. She said nothing during the appearance. Her bond was set at $500,000.
On March 26, a grand jury will decide on an indictment after hearing evidence in the case.
Baby Janiyah was born in December and Watkins was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis in January. The diagnosis came after someone reported that she was screaming in her apartment and police responded to the scene.
After the incident, Janiyah was placed in the care of Watkins’ aunt. Caseworkers for the family said that they believed Watkins was not taking her medication. This could have led to delusional thinking.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deter said that it is believed that Watkins moved in with her aunt a week before the murder took place.
On Monday, the aunt’s son dropped his kids off at the aunt’s house so they could catch the bus. His five-year-old son walked into the home and into the kitchen where he found Janiyah’s lifeless body on a countertop.
The boy ran outside to alert his father and then he woke up Watkins’ aunt. They then called 911.
Police arrived at the scene and found Watkins in bed.
Janiyah’s alleged father, James Brown, said that a month after Janiyah was born, Watkins started “acting different.”
According to court documents, he said she had been “speaking of demons.”
After the incident in Watkins’ apartment in January, Janiyah was taken away by emergency officials. After she was hospitalized, doctors said that it was not safe for Watkins to be around the baby unless she took medication.
Brown, the alleged father, was also ordered to stay away from Janiyah when a court found both parents to be neglectful.
Social workers checked on baby Janiyah once a week and, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, they told the family to keep Watkins away from her.