Often the public is left with the question of how a mother could try to kill her own child. Isn’t there someone at home that could have stopped this from happening? However, with the dependency of an infant or young child on their mother, help may seem impossible in a situation that could cause death or serious injury from one they need to trust the most.
According to the Santa Clara County 2007 Death Review Board, “the most common cause of child deaths reviewed were classified as Homicide deaths (22%), followed by Natural Medical (20%) and Inadequate Caretaking Skills (20%).”
The board asserted that “40% (34) of child deaths were from an act of child neglect/negligence, and/or child abuse that directly caused or contributed to the death.”
The San Jose Police Department reported the arrest of 31-year-old Ana Martinez on Tuesday, September 1. Mrs. Martinez was arrested for attempted murder under PC 664(a)-187, in which the mother of “Anthony Doe”, born in March of 2011, attacked him with a knife. Facing an additional attempted murder charge, the suspect Martinez is also accused of attempting to kill baby “Monica Doe”. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has also charged Martinez with two counts of child endangerment under PC 273(a), from her intent to injure the children, identified only as Anthony and Monica Doe.
According to court documents, Martinez appeared to be under the influence of drugs as she stabbed her four year old son in the chest three times. She then proceeded to cut his right arm three times with the knife. Martinez then slashed her four month old girl once in her upper right chest, and then stabbing her again just below her right chest and right side of her body. When firefighters arrived on the scene they feared that the young boy might not make it, and could possibly die from multiple stab wounds.
The San Jose police officer reporting to the scene at the Blue Fountain Apartments stated “the suspect stabbed the victims in front of her other two children.” During this time the suspect had confined the two older children in the apartment with her by placing a sofa in front of living room door so they could not leave. Police responded to a terrifying call by a friend of the mother’s, who told 9-1-1 dispatchers that the female suspect Martinez was talking about killing her children. SJPD Officers kicked in the door to try to clear the sofa from the entry way so they could stop what was happening inside the apartment.
Martinez stated to police that she no longer wished to live and wanted to end her life. Martinez has been placed on a Mental Health Hold for treatment. The two older children were released to their father, and the two younger siblings were taken into custody by Child Protective Services.
According to statistics by Law Enforcement, Courts and Prisons, and the U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States, in 2012, 1,363 persons under the age of 18 were murdered. Of those, 921 were male and 442 were female. 669 of those homicide victims were reported to have been white, 640 being black, 44 were reported as other, and 10 were unknown. The highest number of deaths were caused by firearms. However, the second highest cause of death was the use of a knife or cutting instrument, according to 2008 records.
Martinez is expected to appear before the court on September 25 to face charges of attempted murder on her two younger children. A protective stay away order has been issued for the children’s safety.