A Chicago woman has been charged with fatally stabbing her 5-year-old daughter, police said.
Simone Austin, 27, was arrested early Saturday on one count of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Serenity Arrington in the city’s East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side, police told the Chicago Tribune.
The girl, who suffered multiple stab wounds, was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said in a statement.
Austin was taken into custody after she “approached” officers at the scene, police said.
The girl’s death was ruled a homicide due to multiple stab wounds to the neck, the Tribune reports.
Austin was scheduled to appear for a bond hearing on Monday, police said.
Investigators believe Austin sliced the girl’s throat inside their home before carrying her outside and placing her in the street, where firefighters found her, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters during a news conference Monday.
A motive in the slaying remains unclear and Austin has declined to speak with detectives, Brown told reporters.
Neighbors, meanwhile, said the young girl had moved into the neighborhood over the summer and frequently rode bikes with her older sister.
“And they had a kitten or a cat and they liked animals,” neighbor Tim Latimer told WFLD. “They would visit my dog and they brought their cat to meet my wife who is a cat person.”
Other neighbors and friends of Austin’s family said Austin appeared to be a devoted mother who frequently sat outside as her daughters played, WFLD reports.
“Long as I’ve been knowing her she never seemed that way to me,” family friend Keith Smith told the station. “When it happens and it’s somebody that you personally know, it hits deep.”
Detectives were working with Department of Children & Family Services officials to determine if Austin has a history of mental illness, the station reports.
“There were prior calls to the address,” Chicago Police Officer Jose Jara told the station without elaborating. “We just don’t know what happened today, but there were multiple calls in the past.”
Another neighbor said he was distraught over the girl’s slaying.
“I seen her just yesterday and today in the morning she’s gone,” neighbor Jose Maljar told WBBM. “It’s just sad.”
With Post wires
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