A 16-month-old baby boy survived being intentionally hanged at an in-home daycare Friday morning in South Minneapolis, according to police.
The suspect, 42-year-old Nataliia Karia, allegedly fled the scene and went on a rampage that included two traffic accidents following the incident. She then threatened to commit suicide from an overpass.
Karia is in police custody charged with second-degree murder, third-degree assault and two counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection with the incident. She faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Baby Was Hanging From a Noose in the Basement
According to a criminal complaint, a father was dropping off his three-year-old child at Karia’s home, and upon arrival Karia told him she “couldn’t take it anymore.”
Karia then led the man to a basement to “look at what she did,” the complaint stated, according to CBS. The man heard the baby crying and when he got into the basement he saw her hanging from a noose, which was attached to a ceiling. After pulling the baby down, the man left and called his wife, who then called 911.
“We don’t know what was happening with her [Karia],” Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Kris Arneson said in a news conference, which you can watch above. “As soon as we can talk to her, we should be able to ascertain what was happening.”
Arneson described the scene as “horrific.”
The boy could be heard crying on emergency dispatch audio as he was taken from the home and rushed away via ambulance, the Star Tribune reported.
2. She Fled the Scene, Ran Over a Pedestrian, Hit a Bicyclist & Several Vehicles
According to authorities, Karia fled the scene in a van and subsequently ran over a pedestrian, kept going, then ran a red light and struck a bicyclist. Several cars were also hit and damaged, police said.
The pedestrian suffered broken bones and abrasions, while the bicyclist suffered a severely broken leg that required surgery.
“Both hit and run victims were taken to a hospital,” Arneson said.
3. She Was Apprehended at an Overpass, Where She Threatened to Jump
After intentionally trying to hang the child, running over a pedestrian and hitting a bicyclist, Karia allegedly attempted to jump from an overpass, but was stopped by concerned citizens.
“A call came in that a person [Karia] was threatening to jump on Park Avenue over the I-94 interstate,” Arneson told reporters. “There were citizens on the scene holding the suspect down so she could not jump. Minneapolis police arrived shortly after that and joined in the struggle to prevent her from going over the edge to the freeway.”
Arneson said Karia “put up a big struggle,” and confirmed she was evaluated at an area hospital while charges were pending. Authorities verified in a statement that “she will be booked into Hennepin County Jail when she is released from the hospital.”
Though authorities did not confirm if she had her own children, a review for a Minneapolis acupuncture center by Nataliia Karia suggests that she did:
“I am very satisfied with my experience at the Acupuncture and Chinese Medical Center,” the review stated. “I had a hormonal birth control inserted into my arm three years ago and upon removal I lost my periods. Dr. Zhou and her team helped me get them back and become pregnant one more time. Thank you so much Dr. Zhou!”
4. The Baby Is Expected to Be Okay
When authorities arrived at the home, they found the baby crying with visible neck injuries.
The child received medical attention and “is doing fine” following the incident, according to Arneson. She added that the woman is not the boy’s mother.
“The case is being investigated by the Minneapolis Police Department’s Homicide Unit and the Crimes Against Children Unit,” the police report stated. “The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting by conducting the accident investigations.”
5. The Daycare Was Licensed to Operate
According to state records, the daycare center was owned by Karia and her license took effect in April 2009, and had an expiration of April 2017. However, documents were filed Friday afternoon to suspend the license, according to KTSP. The station reported that there wasn’t record of any previous issues with the daycare.
Authorities said all parents who had children at the facility were notified, and their children were safely picked up. The police report stated:
MPD Chaplains were at the scene of the daycare to talk with parents who arrived to pick up their children. They have also been at the hospital and the 5th Police Precinct to talk with anyone who has been affected by this difficult case.
“We never want children to be injured,” Arneson stated. “That’s part of reason we call in our chaplains. It’s a horrific scene for officers to encounter.”
The woman’s motive for the attack is not clear at this time.
*This article will be updated as information becomes available.
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