Livermore, Calif.: After attempting suicide, a young mother allegedly stabbed her infant son to death on Sunday, April 27th, at Del Valle Regional Park. Police have arrested Ashley Newton on murder related charges, but it is not clear what degree of charges she will face in the stabbing death of the infant child. The details of this story are sparse and heartbreaking, but it's a clear indication that the accused woman is emotionally and mentally disturbed. This is confirmed by reports declaring that she suffers from depression, but how old is the infant that she is accused of stabbing to death? She could very well be suffering from postpartum depression, or postpartum psychosis -- which does sometime end in the tragic deaths of mothers and children.
Police say that Ashley Newton was arrested after she was spotted walking around carrying the lifeless body of her infant son in her arms. She also had lacerations on her body indicating her failed suicide attempt. A pocket knife was also found at the scene of the grisly crime, which only produces more shocking mental images. How could a mere pocket knife be sharp or large enough to do such damage? This defenseless baby must have suffered terribly at the hands of someone he had no other option but to depend on fully for his survival and welfare.
Sadly, Ashley isn't the only woman to be arrested under such circumstances. A couple of years ago in Las Vegas, a young mother was arrested after she was found running through the streets naked and smeared with the blood of her six-year-old daughter. She had used a pair of scissors to stab and kill the little girl, who was later found dead in the master bedroom of the home she shared with her mom and dad. It's reported that the mother -- Danielle Slaughter -- had some sort of mental breakdown that lead to the brutal slaying of her daughter and her other bizarre behavior.
Do these tragedies show the ignored mental illnesses of struggling young mothers that need help, or are other causes to blame? In this particular case it seems that preexisting mental conditions do exist, but to what degree? The state of the mental healthcare system in the U.S. is notoriously scrutinized, especially when crimes like these come to light. That's because the senseless murders of little children should never be able to occur. One has to wonder if Ashley Newton presented any red flags to her loved ones that would indicate that she was going to harm herself or her baby.