A New Jersey mother who neighbors said had postpartum depression was arrested for allegedly stabbing her 5-month-old daughter to death last week. Kristhie I. Alcazar, 26, was taken into custody Friday evening and charged with one count of murder, prosecutors said in a press release.
According to the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, officers with the Salem Police Department and paramedics with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to a 911 call placed from Alcazar’s address located on Helms Cove Lane in Penns Grove late Friday night. The prosecutor’s office said dispatchers received “an open 911 call with audible disturbance in the background.”
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders entered the home and said they found Alcazar and another individual arguing. The deceased infant was reportedly in plain sight and had suffered “visible stab wounds to the chest.” Police took Alcazar into custody and seized several knives from the residence among other pieces of evidence taken from the scene.
An autopsy performed by the coroner’s office determined that the cause of death was a homicide resulting from multiple stab wounds to the child’s chest.
Alcazar was processed and is currently being held in the Salem County Jail without bond.
The person at the residence with whom Alcazar was reportedly arguing was not identified, but prosecutors noted that the infant’s father was not in the house when the tragic incident occurred.
A neighbor reportedly told Philadelphia CBS affiliate KYW-TV that the other person at the home was Alcazar’s mother.
“The lady’s mom was over there screaming, and I knew something was wrong,” the neighbor reportedly said.
That neighbor, who asked not to be identified, also reportedly told the station that Alcazar had postpartum depression since giving birth to her daughter earlier this year.
“The EMS went in there and when they came out and left I knew the baby was dead because they would have transported her,” the neighbor reportedly said. “She seemed like such a good mom, but they said she had postpartum [depression] and I have no idea what that’s like so I can’t judge.”
Other neighbors told the station that they were stunned by the tragic turn of events. Over the weekend, several members of the community reportedly left candles and stuffed animals on the porch of the home as a memorial to the slain child.
“It happened in my community. It happened right next to my house,” neighbor Arthur Edge reportedly told Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI-TV. “I lived next to her for two and a half years, so it’s a shock to me.”
Authorities asked anyone with additional information concerning the case to contact Detective Johnathan Seidel of the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office at (856) 935-7510 or Detective Jesse Thorn of the Penns Grove Police Department at (856) 299-0056.
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