Police: Mom drowned girl she thought was being molested

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A woman is charged with murder after police say she held her young daughter under water in a bathtub and drowned her two days before Christmas.

Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday on reports of a 6-year-old who had drowned in a bathtub. When squads arrived they found a female later identified as the child's mother standing by a fire truck. When they approached her the woman, 25-year-old Kayla Marie Jones, threw her hands up in the air as if she was surrendering. As an officer arrested Jones and put her in the back of a squad car, she noticed the suspect's clothes were soaking wet.

Other officers encountered a male on the scene who was crying and screaming. He told them he was Jones' boyfriend, the two of them had a fight, and he left the apartment. When the man returned he saw Jones leaving the complex. After she told him to call 911 the man says he ran back in the apartment and found the child lifeless in the bathtub.

When questioned by investigators Jones said she had not slept in two days, and for some reason believed that her boyfriend had molested her daughter. Detectives say Jones told them she was molested as a child, and believed the same thing had happened to her child because she say her sleeping with her hand down her pants.

Jones said she was watching TV and heard "Save the child, don't send him to ... the monster." At that point, she says she placed her daughter's entire clothed body in the bathtub face down, and held the child as she thrashed and kicked. Jones allegedly told investigators she held the girl under water for "a minute or two" until she stopped moving. Jones said she knew she was drowning her daughter but couldn't stop.

"It's horrible and the injuries documented in the complaint, there was a struggle. This child tried to save herself. Mom fought her and held her underwater. And it's shocking to everyone, the police, fire department, medical examiner's office and our office. It's shocking something like this happens to a 6 year old dependent upon a parent for protection," said Richard Dusterhoft, who heads the criminal division for Ramsey County Attorney's Office.

Jones later told police she put her daughter in the tub to "save her from this world." When asked if she felt bad about what happened, Jones reportedly told her interrogator "I do, I just can't even feel anything right now. I still can't believe this s***, that I could do this to my own daughter."

Jones made her first court appearance Wednesday. A judge ordered a mental health evaluation. Jones will return to court Jan. 7 to see if she is mentally competent for court proceedings.

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