Jennifer Bellah is the Georgia woman who confessed to police that she had shot and killed her two year old daughter in her home on Tuesday. She faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the death of her daughter, Natalya.
Here’s what you need to know about Jennifer Bellah:
1. Bellah Made a 911 Call to Tell Authorities That She Had Shot and Killed Her Toddler on Tuesday
Police received a 911 call from Bellah just before 6PM on Tuesday, August 28 to report that she had shot and killed her daughter. Natalya was two years old when she was shot and killed.
Deputies rushed to the home on Brown Thrasher Road near Oxford. They found Natalya’s body and she was pronounced dead on the scene. Police also recovered “a firearm, a spent shell casing, and spent bullets.”
2. Bellah and Her Daughter Were Alone in the House When Natalya Died
Jennifer Bellah and her two year old daughter, Natalya, lived in a Newton County home belonging to Jennifer’s mother. It was not clear where she was on the evening when Jennifer allegedly shot Natalya. But police said that Jennifer was alone in the home with Natalya’s body when they arrived.
Police said they had not identified a motive in the case. They said that Jennifer called 911 at a little before 6PM on Tuesday to announce that she had shot and killed two-year-old Natalya, but there was no immediate explanation about why, or how, the shooting occurred. Police also said that they recovered a firearm, a spent shell casing, and spent bullets from the scene.
3. Neighbors Said They Were Shocked by the Murder in What Had Always Seemed Like a Happy Family
Jackie Kendrick, a long-time neighbor, told local news that she was “devastated” by the murder, which she said was totally unexpected. She said she saw the family walking in the neighborhood often, adding that they “seemed to be just a happy family.”
She said, “This was a baby. A two year-old baby. It’s devastating.”
Michael Robinson, another local man, told the media that he had seen little Natalya playing in the front door the day before her death.
“I just saw the little girl yesterday, and the mom, and I’m always waving to the grandparents. It’s just unthinkable,” he said.
4. Police Said They Responded to a Call About a ‘Penetrative Trauma’ in the Newton Home
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office reported that they sent officers to Bellah’s home after receiving a call about a “penetrative trauma.” The office told media, “We got a call at about [5:25 p.m.] in regards to a penetrating trauma that happened here at this residence.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were referring to Jennifer Bellah’s 911 call, announcing that she had shot her daughter, or whether they were referring to a slightly earlier, separate call. Bellah herself reportedly called 911 at a little before 6PM to confess that she had shot Natalya. When police arrived on the scene they found Natalya’s body and confirmed that she was dead.
5. Bellah’s Lawyer Said She Had Sought Treatment for Mental Health Issues and Was on Suicide Watch
Jennifer Bellah was in court on Thursday for a formal reading of the charges against her — murder, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime in connection with the death of her two year old daughter, Natalya. Reports said that Bellah was dressed in suicide prevention gear and appeared to have trouble focusing as the judge read out the charges against her.
Bellah is being represented by a public defender, Anthony Carter. He released a statement on Thursday which said, “in the days and weeks prior, including the day of the tragic death of her 2-year old daughter Natalya, Ms. Bellah sought and received help for mental health issues.” Carter said he was glad that Bellah had been put in a suicide vest.
Bellah was reportedly alone in the house with Natalya when the two year old died. Jennifer called 911 at a little before 6PM on Tuesday to report that she had shot and killed the two year old. When police arrived they confirmed that Natalya was dead. There was no report yet as to a motive in the shooting.