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Brooklyn Mother Found Cradling Dead Toddler Undergoes Psych Evaluation

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A Brooklyn woman found cradling her dead baby Friday has been hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation, and some neighbors say they should have intervened after noticing that the woman seemed mentally disturbed prior to the incident. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Friends and neighbors on Putnam Avenue can't believe little Cathryn is gone. Her mother, Brandis Nwegbo, is being investigated as her possible killer.

New York City Police Department officials say officers responded around 4 a.m. Friday to a report that someone was on the roof of 1078 Putnam Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

When they arrived, no was on the roof, but they say they found the 29-year-old woman in her top floor apartment sitting on the couch with the bloody 2-year-old in her arms.

The baby had puncture wounds on her body and strangulation marks.

“They knocked on everybody's door asking if we heard anything or if we hear any noise or a screaming. We said no. We didn't,” said one resident.

The family living on the second floor said they often babysat Cathryn, who they called Cha-Cha. They're devastated.

“She was like a little sister to me. I always watched her, she was so nice. She was the sweetest girl ever,” said Skye Anderson, the child’s babysitter.

“Beautiful little girl. You would have never thought nothing like this. I'm still trying to figure out what happened,” said Pamela Anderson, a neighbor.

The Administration for Children's Services said it is investigating but that there was never any report of abuse in the family.

Some say the mom seemed distant and in need of help, however, and neighbors claim she was being evicted from her apartment.

“Brandis is depressed. It looks like she needs help. She looks like she has something mental. All of us are talking about her that she needs help mentally,” said one neighbor.

Some neighbors say the mom called her baby a demon child and now think they should have intervened when they spotted signs of trouble.

Community activists say concerned residents should not be afraid to act to save a life.

“When something is going wrong, we need to start speaking up regardless of what the situation is, because it may not be you individually as a family but as a community it is everyone's family,” said Reverend Taharka Robinson of the Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition.

People on Putnam Avenue say their family is in mourning now that their baby girl is gone.

As of Friday evening, no charges had been filed against the mother.

In a statement, the city's Administration for Children's Services said, "ACS has received a report of the terribly sad death of the two-year-old this morning in Brooklyn and is actively investigating. There are no other siblings in the family."

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