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Mother found covered in blood said she stabbed 7-year-old daughter to death then ‘blacked out’: FBI

Maylene John (San Juan County Adult Detention Center)

Maylene John (San Juan County Adult Detention Center)

A 33-year-old mother in New Mexico has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly killing her 7-year-old daughter, stabbing the child numerous times inside of their family home. The mother, Maylene John, is now facing one count of second-degree murder in the gruesome death of her little girl, prosecutors announced.

The case falls into federal jurisdiction because John and her daughter were both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation who resided in Navajo nonprofit housing.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court in New Mexico, officers with the Navajo Police Department at about 3 a.m. on October 24, 2022, responded to an emergency call in reference to a child being stabbed at the home John shared with her daughter, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe,” and John’s brother, identified in court documents as “K.J.”

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders said they found John in her bedroom covered in her daughter’s blood, with spatter visible on her face, lips, neck, ears, and shirt, authorities wrote. Police removed John from the scene to allow Emergency Medical Services to try and resuscitate the child, but she succumbed to her wounds and at 3:42 a.m. medics pronounced her dead on the scene.

In an interview with investigators, John’s brother K.J. said that when he went to sleep the previous evening, nothing between John and her daughter seemed out of the ordinary. However, just before 3 a.m. he heard his niece scream for help from inside of the bedroom she shared with her mother. The door was locked, so he kicked it in and said he found the little girl bleeding from a stab wound to the torso.

“John sat on the end of the bed with a silver folding knife in her hand. K.J. provided a blanket to Jane Doe in order to apply pressure to the wound,” the complaint states. “Jane Doe told K.J. that John had stabbed her. John put the knife to her own neck, at which point K.J. grabbed her wrist, forcing her to let go of the weapon. K.J. threw the knife onto the ground, outside the bedroom door.”

After seeing his young niece’s injuries, John’s brother ran out of the home to a neighbor’s house and called for help.

John’s brother explained to police that his sister had a history of substance abuse, had attended rehab several times in the past, and displayed “suicidal tendencies sporadically for the past ten years.” He said his sister had been recovering from drug use a few days prior to the fatal stabbing, but noted that she and her daughter were “interacting like normal when he went to bed on the evening of Oct. 23, 2022.”

The day after the stabbing, John allegedly told investigators that on Oct. 23, she had drank alcohol and smoked methamphetamine during the day, but could not recall much more. She said she remembered having her blood-covered hands, face, clothing, and shoes photographed during processing, but “did not recall how or why [her daughter] was in her bedroom” the previous evening. However, John did allegedly admit that she remembered stabbing the child, saying that when she plunged the knife into her daughter’s torso she “instantly felt hurt because she caused her daughter pain,” per the affidavit.

John allegedly said that she “blacked out” after the stabbing.

John is currently being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without bond. If convicted, she faces up to life in prison.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.