NEW YORK (AP) — A woman accused of tossing her newborn son to his death from a fourth-floor window told police an evil spirit had taken over the boy, according to court papers Monday.
Rashida Chowdhury, 21, was being held without bail after her arrest late last week in the death of her month-old son, Rizwan.
Chowdhury initially told detectives that she had been asleep in the bed with her son and awoke to discover he was gone, but she later admitted she threw him out the window, police said. She said that he had been possessed by an evil spirit and had been sick recently, and she was "stopping the pain," according to court papers.
The baby had been hospitalized for three days with a viral infection, but had been discharged the day before his death and was recovering, officials said. He appeared to be in good health otherwise.
Investigators were trying to determine whether Chowdhury suffered from postpartum depression but no clinical diagnoses had been made.
Chowdhury's attorney didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the accusations.
At around 4 a.m. Aug. 7, Chowdhury quietly got up and brought the baby into the bathroom, police said. A neighbor heard "an unusual noise, like a thump," in the building's courtyard, and when she looked through the window, she saw Rizwan in a blue and white onesie, lying in a pool of blood, authorities said.
The infant's father and other relatives were inside the Queens home but didn't know what happened until they saw the body, police said. The baby died from blunt impact injuries he sustained in the fall, according to the medical examiner's office.
The neighbor, Mazol Ilyayeva, told the Daily News of New York said the father asked: "Did you hear my baby cry when she threw him out of the window?"
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown charged Chowdhury with murder. She was arraigned Saturday.
"This a truly horrific and disturbing case of a mother accused of killing her helpless infant son," Brown said.