Two In Critical Condition After Murder and Attempted Suicide

Outside the high rise apartment building where Aleah Newell, 20, killed her children and attempted suicide. [Photo credit: Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune]


Chicago Police were called to the Michigan Beach Apartments, a 22 story high-rise in the South Shore neighborhood at about 1:45 am Thursday morning for a report of a "person down."


When Police arrived, they found an infant and a woman on the sidewalk outside.  Inside, building security directed officers to an 11th floor apartment that had become flooded with water from a running bathtub.


Inside that apartment, Police found 70 year old Cardell Walker with stab wounds to his face and body, and 2 year old Jontavious in a bathtub showing signs of wounds on his face as well as burns from scalding water.


Jontavious and the 7 month old Amir who had been found on the ground outside were both transported to Comer Children's Hospital where they were both pronounced dead.


Walker is said to have told authorities that the woman, identified as his 20 year old granddaughter Aleah Newell stabbed him before jumping out of the window with her son.  Video footage from the first floor shows that she threw Amir down before following.


“Based on the positioning of the bodies and available evidence, it appears as though the baby was thrown out of the window and the woman followed,” Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Tribune. “We’re assuming something broke her fall because she survived, which is unusual after falling from that distance.”


Newell and Walker were both transported to University of Chicago Medical Center where they both remain in critical condition.  According to reports, both have not yet regained consciousness as of Friday morning.


According to Newell's family, she took pills before killing her children.


“This is an immensely tragic incident and our thoughts are with residents of that building and first responders working the case,” Guglielmi said.  Counseling services have been made available to those working the case, whether outside or inside the building.


According to statements, Newell had shown up at a shelter for battered women  run by the Salvation Army three days earlier asking for assistance.  Adrianne Thomas, a woman at the Shield of Hope Shelter said, "She was like, fed up."  She stated she'd heard Newell in the lunchroom saying, "I can't do it, I can't take care of them."


The Salvation Army refused to confirm or deny whether or not Newell had sought help from them citing client confidentiality.  "Our prayers go out to the family impacted by this horrible tragedy," the spokesperson said.


The state Department of Children and Family Services stated that they had no records of previous dealings wither either Newell or her children, but have now opened an investigation of their own.


A 15 year resident of the building, 84 year old Mary Houston woke up Thursday morning and noticed police when she looked out her 10th floor window.  She walked down to the receptionist and heard the news of what had transpired while she slept.


“Horrible,” Houston said. “Satan is busy working overtime.”


Police are still investigating and working to determine a motive.



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