PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police are investigating after a father found his 5-year-old son dead. The boy’s mother is now in the hospital after stabbing herself.
Detectives continue to search for clues in an awful tragedy that transpired in a West Philadelphia building.
“It’s really sad,” said West Philadelphia resident Wendell Belt. “It’s really sad for a child so young to lose his life.”
Authorities say a father walked into his Pine Street apartment to find his 5-year-old boy stabbed in the neck and face down in the bathtub.
“He was able to take the son out of the tub before police arrived and when medics arrived the boy was unresponsive,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Medics conducted CPR but were unable to save him. He was pronounced dead just after 11 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The boy was in the care of his mother, who, police say, was also rushed to the hospital. However, the slash wounds to her wrist appear to be self-inflicted.
“We believe there’s a possibility the 40-year-old mother may have some mental health issues, and stabbed herself in the wrist and also caused the laceration to her 5-year-old son’s neck,” Small said.
With a young boy violently killed in his home and a mother that may be responsible, police say she may have also tried killing herself.
“Mental illness is a very serious sickness and these people need help,” West Philadelphia resident Polly Scheryer said.
The 40-year-old was conscious, walking and talking when officers arrived on scene. She’s now listed in stable condition at Presbyterian Hospital.
“Nothing surprises me in Philly anymore,” Belt said. “Absolutely, absolutely nothing.”
Homicide detectives are leading the investigation.
Anyone struggling with mental heath should contact the 24-hour Mental Health Delegate Line at 215-685-6440.