Mother questioned in 6-year old's death

April 7, 2008 9:00:37 PM PDT
Police in north suburban Waukegan are questioning a woman in connection with the stabbing death of her daughter.Officers were called to an apartment in the 4200 block of Hickory Hills Drive shortly before 5 a.m. Monday and found a woman with superficial cuts on her wrist and hands.

Investigators also found 6-year-old Evelyn Vasquez dead in an adjacent apartment.

The Lake County coroner says Evelyn died of stab wounds to the chest and neck. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:10 a.m.

Police say they do not believe this is an attempted murder-suicide. They do not believe the mother wanted to take her own life. They expect to file charges of first-degree murder within the next 24 hours. They describe the mother as a person of interest.

The knife used in the attack, a large butcher knife, has been recovered. Police say the mother has been cooperative, but a motive has not been released.

"Upon arrival, officers met with a woman who had what they considered superficial injuries to her forearms and wrist area. Upon further speaking to her and checking, they went to an adjacent apartment and located a 6-year-old female inside the apartment who, by all accounts, appeared to be deceased at the scene," said Commander Wayne Walles, Waukegan Police.

Deputy Chief Daniel Greathouse, Waukegan Police, said the wounds did not appear to be defensive.

One woman who did not want to be identified said the mother moved from Mexico two years ago. She was recently out of work and struggling to make ends meet, something Waukegan's mayor seemed to confirm.

"The mother is distraught. There could be a lot of things that are entering that scenario, exactly why she went off her rocker," said Richard Hyde, Waukegan mayor.

Neighbors describe Evelyn as a bright and happy child.

"It's terrible. I don't know, I feel bad," said Noelia Castro.

"Shocking, I had no idea, didn't hear anything. (It's) disturbing," said Benjamin Cooper.

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