Mother Stabs Younger Kids, Killing Daughter, in Custody Battle: Police

Two young children were stabbed in their home by their own mother on Sunday in New Orleans.

The incident took place at about 11 am local time at a home in the Florida Area neighborhood, according to police. The woman, 31-year-old Janee Pedescleaux, stabbed the two children—a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy—killing the older child and severely injuring the other.

While police were initially vague about the relationship between the suspect and the victims, telling WVUE that the situation was “guardian in nature,” the department on Monday confirmed to Newsweek that Pedescleaux is the mother of the two children. She faces charges of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Court documents obtained by showed that Pedescleaux has been involved in a custody battle with the father of the two children, Jermaine Roberts. Roberts sued Pedescleaux in April for joint custody, alleging that she was not allowing him to see the children and was “not stable or providing a healthy environment for the kids,” WBRZ reported. A hearing was to be held this month.

A woman is accused of stabbing two children, believed to be her own, on Sunday in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An alarm was raised over the situation when Pedescleaux posted a video to her Instagram account. In the video, in what appeared to be a blood-stained tank top, she tearfully addressed the camera and made remarks about her children. The video has since been deleted, but multiple local outlets were able to relay its content.

“I’m dying,” Pedescleaux reportedly said in the video. “My children is dead. I’m dying. I’m done with life. It’s all Jermaine’s fault.”

Neighbors familiar with the situation told WVUE that the video alarmed Roberts. In surveillance video from the scene, Roberts reportedly could be seen arriving at the home in a white pickup and running inside.

He came out with the two children, and the older sibling appeared to be injured and fell while attempting to run to the truck. Neighbors added that Roberts allegedly had to break into the home through a front window. He took the children to a hospital. Pedescleaux was arrested at the scene.

The older child ultimately succumbed to her injuries and died after being taken to a hospital. The boy, according to WVUE, is listed in critical condition.

The New Orleans Police Department asks that anyone with information relevant to the case reach out to the Special Victims Section at (504) 658-5267 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

A similarly tragic stabbing incident played out in the town of Nunn, Colorado, in June. According to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, 18-year-old Leiyla Cepeda was charged with two counts of first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing her infant daughter to death after she was born. Cepeda told police that she had been unsure that she was pregnant prior to developing cramps and contractions. The infant was found dead by authorities with multiple puncture wounds, with a pair of scissors found nearby.

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