TIME Crime

Overwhelmed Mother Suffocates Young Son

And another woman was charged Tuesday with abandoning her baby daughter on a subway platform

A 22-year-old New York woman Tuesday allegedly told police she suffocated her 11-month-old son to death because she became “overwhelmed” as his sole caregiver.

The child died Sunday at the Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York. His mother, 22-year-old Nicole Kelly, confessed to police that she smothered him with a pillow. An autopsy of the child was inconclusive and pending further study while Kelly’s arraignment was also pending as of Tuesday morning.

It wasn’t the only incidence of poverty and neglect driving a mother to tragic measures in New York City this week, as a 20-year-old woman was charged Tuesday with abandoning her 7-month-old daughter on a subway platform the day before. Frankea Dabbs of New York allegedly left a subway car to push her child’s stroller onto the platform and then reboarded the train without her.

An onlooker called authorities when no one came to retrieve the young girl for over 20 minutes. The child is now in the custody of Administration for Children’s Services and appears to be in good health.

Family told the New York Daily News that Dabbs became a single parent a few months ago after her family was killed in their home by robbers. Dabbs told the police that she could no longer care for her daughter.

“She really needs help,” her aunt Lawanna Edmonds said. “It’s not like she just abandoned the baby … Me personally, I think the child is looking for help.”

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