Mother charged with murder in drowning death of 10-day-old son

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A mother has pleaded not guilty to murder in the second degree in connection with the drowning death of her 10-day-old son. 

Officers arrived on scene at 31 Locust St. around 2:30 p.m. Monday for the report of an unresponsive baby. The baby, Jeremiah, was immediately transported to Rochester General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Markiya Mitchell, 25, admitted to investigators that she intentionally drowned her son in the bathtub with the purpose of ending his life. She told police she killed police because she "heard voices telling her to harm the child." 

According to the felony complaint, Mitchell filled the tub with 8 to 10 inches of bath water and left him submerged for 1 to 2 hours. Police say that Mitchell went to the store to buy cigarettes after she drowned her son. 

Police say Jeremiah's father found him unresponsive in the bath tub and called police. 

Police tell News 8 that Mitchell has a history of child abuse. Mitchell allegedly beat her 7-year-old child with a hammer. She had just regained custody of the child from CPS. The 7-year-old child is currently being taken care of by a family member, according to police.

Court records also show that Mitchell and Jeremiah's father were having a custody dispute, and several orders of protection were issued against Mitchell.

Prosecutors are remaining tight lipped about this case, but said that cases of child abuse are not only devastating but entirely preventable. 

"Of course these cases are difficult," said prosector Amanda Balling. "The cases of child abuse in our county are always difficult and heartbreaking and we'd like to bring as much awareness to this issue as possible."

Mitchell is being held in Monroe County Jail without bail. She will appear in court Friday at 10:30 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.


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