Rochester woman charged with murder in death of 10-day-old baby

November 20, 2017 03:25 AM

Police say a Rochester mother is now facing a murder charge after they say she admitted to drowning her 10-day-old child in a bathtub.

Police say officers went to a home on Locust Street at around 2:30 Monday afternoon for the report of an unresponsive infant. When they got there, police say they found the infant, Jeremiah Mitchell. He was taken to Rochester General Hospital where officers say he was pronounced dead.

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Police say the infant’s mother, 25-year-old Markiya Mitchell, later admitted to intentionally drowning the baby to end its life. Mitchell has been charged with second degree murder. She was arraigned Tuesday morning, pleading not guilty. Police say the grand jury may consider more charges.

She is scheduled to return to court on Friday.

According to police, Mitchell also has a 7-year-old child. That child is currently being taken care of by a family member.

Court document

"The cases of child abuse in our county are difficult and heartbreaking," says Amanda Balling, assistant district attorney. "We'd like to bring awareness to these issues as much as possible."

Prosecutor Amanda Balling is part of the county's child abuse unit. She would not comment on if Mitchell was suffering from post-partum depression. But, for those who are, there is the crisis nursery in Rochester.

"When we hear of this tragedy, a tremendous life, in that heartbreaking moment what she needed the most was help," Elaine Spaull, Center for Youth. "It's not about blame."

It's about helping people, says Spaull -- who wants to prevent this tragedy from happening again.

"Do not think you’re in this alone," she says. "Even when were full, bursting at the seams, in an emergency like this we will find a way to help."

In a tweet Tuesday evening, the Rochester firefighters union reminded residents that firehouses are safe havens for infants up to 30 days old. "We're always open, hospitals too," firefighters write.


Stephanie Robusto

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