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Camden Community Reacts To Homicide-Suicide Of Son, Mother

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By Robin Rieger

CAMDEN, N. J. (CBS) – Teddy bears and toy cars adorn the front of the Kaighns Avenue home in Camden Thursday where police say two-and-a-half-year-old Zahree Thomas was stabbed multiple times and decapitated by his mother, 33-year-old Chevonne Thomas early Wednesday morning.

Parts of her recorded 911 call before police say she slit her own throat are chilling

“To see the little boys face and to hear the recordings that she made, it did a lot to me,” Tia Stafford said.

Stafford took advantage of the community counseling being offered to distraught residents at a church near the Thomas home Thursday.

“Some of them in the community just want [to] just talk and they just want to get things off of their chest,” said minister Wasim Muhammad.

Toxicology tests are pending but sources say police believe Thomas had been smoking marijuana laced with PCP prior to the incident. Cooper University Hospital’s emergency medicine physician, Dr. Matthew Salzman, said it can make people unaware of what they are doing.

“Usually when we see patients in the Emergency department they can be very agitated, very aggressive,” said Dr. Salzman

New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) is reviewing its open case with Thomas.

Zahree was returned to her custody in April after Thomas completed court ordered treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders. Officials say in November of 2010 Thomas admitted blacking out in a Camden park after smoking PCP laced marijuana and forgetting where she left her son.

DYFS says Thomas had extensive services including regular staff visits and substance abuse testing.

Her family said not to believe everything said about her, that Thomas was a good person.

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