Rochester woman charged with murder, police say she drowned 10-day-old baby

25-year-old Markiya Mitchell faces 2nd degree murder charges. (WHAM photos)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) - A Rochester woman faces murder charges after police said she admitted to intentionally drowning her 10-day-old child on Locust Street.

According to police, 25-year-old Markiya Mitchell is facing 2nd degree murder charges after she confessed to drowning her 10-day-old son, Jeremiah Mitchell, in a bathtub at 31 Locust Street.

Police responded to the report of an unresponsive infant on Locust Street on November 13 around 2:30 in the afternoon. Upon arrival, they found Jeremiah unresponsive, and were told he was found in that condition in bathtub of the home. Jeremiah was immediately transported to Rochester General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

One of Mitchell's neighbors says Mitchell moved in on November 1, just two days before Jeremiah was born.

"It's just horrible news to hear this," said neighbor Piper Dailey-Seaman. "Children are being brought into families that can't take care of them."

Court paperwork states Mitchell filled the tub with eight to ten inches of water, then intentionally left Jeremiah submerged in the tub alone for 1-2 hours.

Mitchell was taken from the scene to the Public Safety Building. Upon being interviewed by investigators from the Rochester Police Department’s Special Victim Investigations, she admitted to intentionally drowning Jeremiah in the bathtub with the purpose of ending his life.

Police have not said why Mitchell allegedly wanted to kill her son.

Child Protective Services is now involved in the case, but county officials will not say if CPS has been involved with Mitchell or her children in the past. Mitchell does also have a 7-year-old child currently under care of other family.

Mitchell was arraigned on the charge of 2nd degree murder in Rochester City Court Tuesday morning.

Additional charges may be considered by the Grand Jury.

Some are hoping the tragedy will serve as a reminder to distressed parents that resources to help them are available around Rochester.

Under the state's Abandoned Infant Protection Act, parents can leave a child under 30 days old at places like fire and police stations and more with no questions asked, if the child is unharmed.

In New York State, places like fire stations, police departments, and hospitals are known as 'safe havens,' or places where parents could leave children safely without fear of legal repercussions. A quick online search showed at least three such 'safe havens' within a five-minute drive of Mitchell's apartment.

"Safe Haven and the kind of programs we run are very nimble, they're very youth oriented, they're very client oriented, but they're not bureaucratic," said Elaine Spaull, the executive director for the Center for Youth.

Places like the Center for Youth also say they would have stepped in if Mitchell asked for help. Their Crisis Nursery has taken care of children as young as three days old.

"We will come to your house, we will help you, we have car seats, we have cars, we'll pay for a cab, even if our shelters are full, we will help you," said Spaull.

For more information on the Center for Youth or the Crisis Nursery, click here.

Mitchell will appear in court again on Friday. She is currently being held in jail without bail.

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