Child stabbed, killed by mother

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- St. Pete Police have released additional information in the fatal stabbing of a young boy at the Jordan Park Apartment complex Friday night.

According to reports, the boy's mother, 40-year-old Tasha Tomeka Trotter, has been taken into custody for the crime.

Police say it all began around 6:07 p.m., when officers directing traffic were flagged down by a witness to the stabbing.

They reportedly followed the witness to the apartment, where they found Trotter holding her son, identified as four-year-old Joseph Artus, outside.

"They attemped to do CPR as the mother came out and placed the child on the concrete to no avail. He was taken to the hospital but didn't make it," said Major Michael Kovacsev of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Police say Trotter's mother, the child's grandmother, had custody of him for the last three years. Trotter was allowed visitation though, and was reportedly waiting on the front porch when the grandmother arrived home with Joseph Friday evening. They then walked inside.

Moments later, a neighbor heard screaming and ran inside. She was confronted by the child's grandmother.

"The grandma said, 'call the police, she's killing him.' She went into the house and saw the mom on top of him, stabbing him to death," said a neighbor.

The grandmaother said her daughter, who had a history of mental health problems, was acting oddly before she suddenly, and without being provoked, went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and used it repeatedly on the four-year-old.

"We have spoken to family and relatives and there is a possible of mental illness factor that is playing into this," said Kovacsev.

Police say they are still interviewing Trotter and the witnesses. 10 News will continue with updates as they become available.


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