Thursday, August 23
Mom Decapitates Son; Places Head in Freezer!
A Camden, N.J., mother decapitated a 2-year-old son she only recently regained custody of before stabbing herself to death early Wednesday morning.
Chevonne Thomas, 33, and her son, Zahree Thomas, were found dead by police who stormed their home after responding to a 911 call after midnight from the woman saying someone had harmed her son. The headless child was found on the first floor, his mother in her second floor bedroom, according to multiple media reports. The boy's head was found in the freezer.
When police first arrived, Chevonne Thomas was still on the phone with emergency operators. Not knowing if she was armed or if anyone else was still in the home, police retreated and formed a perimeter, reported the Courier Post and WPVI.
By the time cops broke a second floor window and entered the residence, the woman was found dead from a self-inflicted stab wound to her neck, reported Philly.com. The shocking crime stunned cops hardened from decades of experience in one of the country's most violent cities.
"I know the officers on the scene were very shaken up by this. Everybody here is very shaken up," Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Jason Laughlin told WPVI. "One of the sergeants in my office said it's one of the most grisly things he's seen on the job."
Laughlin told the Daily News that Chevonne Thomas was previously arrested in November 2010 for endangering the welfare of a child. She allegedly left Zahree unattended in a vehicle for an unspecified amount of time. Thomas told officials she had smoked "wet," a mixture of PCP and marijuana, before blacking out and forgetting where she left her then-10-month-old son.
The charges had to be "administratively dropped," according to Laughlin, because "a witness gave contradictory statements."
The New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services took custody of Zahree, Laughlin said. The child was returned to Thomas only four months ago.
Thomas moved into the residence only recently, reported Philly.com. Other neighbors, unaware of this history, were stunned to learn what happened.
"This is not heard of," neighbor Kevin Holmes told the paper. "You only see that on horror movies. It still has my mind boggled."
Neighbor Melanie Troutman saw the distraught woman sitting topless on her front steps with her boyfriend a few hours prior to her 911 call, reported the paper. She told the Associated Press Thomas was "clearly upset.
"She was a good mother. She helped the family, she helped the neighbors, she helped everybody," a neighbor who declined to be identified told KYW.
"She would always sit on the steps and smoke," neighbor Lynette Brown told Philly.com. "She would always have her baby on her lap." She then asked, "Was it a mental health issue that it could have been prevented, or was it substance abuse?"
Thelma Moore, a former neighbor of Thomas' from a different neighborhood, thinks mental health issues played a role.
Moore told Philly.com that Thomas was "in a world all to herself" before saying the woman previously sought help. She then added that Thomas "just walked around and cursed to herself."
Laughlin was not able to confirm any prior mental health issues, saying that there was not enough information to make that determination.
Multiple calls to Camden Police for comment went unanswered.
Posted by Miss Pearl at 8/23/2012