A 29-year-old woman in Olympia, Washington has been arrested by the police after allegedly cutting the throats of her three young children with a knife.
Christina Booth is currently booked at the Thurston County Jail. She faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder after inflicting life-threatening wounds on the necks of her children, a pair of six-month old twins and a two-year-old.
Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa says the children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services after undergoing surgery at the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.
"The kids are out of surgery as best I understand right now," Costa tells the Bellingham Herald.
The hospital declined to tell media about the children's condition, citing health privacy laws as the reason.
According to Costa, police officers and paramedics received a request for medical assistance at a little past 1 a.m. on Sunday. The call was made by the children's father, a military man whom the police believe is not involved in the attempted murder. The children's father reportedly told the 911 dispatcher that his babies were bleeding from their necks. He was said to be in a different part of the house when the incident happened.
"We've released him from our station, he voluntarily came down here," says Costa. "I don't have any reason to believe at this point that he was involved with this."
Residents at the subdivision lining Court Southeast in Olympia were stunned to see a whirlwind of police activity disturbing the peace of their quiet neighborhood early Sunday morning.
Neighbors could not believe what happened, saying they did not see Booth as the type of person who would attempt to murder their own children. They say they often saw the mother walking down the street with her babies in strollers.
"I think it's surreal," Tammy Ramsey, who lives across the street, says. "You have biases about who you think might do this to children and this family doesn't fit that bias."
Eric Felch, another neighbor, describes Booth as "a sweet lady, really, really nice."
"I would've never guessed that anything like that could happen," Felch says.
"I think many of us will wonder what could we have done to help her more," says Ramsey.
Meanwhile, police officers and paramedics who witnessed the crime will be offered counseling to help them process what they saw.
"It's a pretty horrible event to have to put your officers through, and we have a lot of first responders as well as the dispatchers, and a lot of them have children of their own," Costa says. "It affects people. You're talking about tiny little infants who have no means - are defenseless - and certainly don't understand or ask for this in their life."