When police officers arrived at the New York home of Hanane Mouhib, 36, they least expected what they were about to find. The call that required the response was ominous—a suicidal woman was with a knife. And just prior to them arriving, a follow-up call urged them to hurry as someone was injured.
Help did come, and on arrival, the deputies asked Mouhib to drop the large kitchen knife she was holding. She held onto it and the deputies had to disarm her with a pepper spray and a Taser, before taking her into custody.
However, when they went to another room to check on the person who was injured, they encountered the horrific sight of the decapitated body of Mouhib’s 7-year-old son, Abraham Cardenas.
Perhaps surprising was that three other family members were at home as at the time of the murder—Abraham’s old brother aged 10, Abraham’s grandmother, and Mouhib’s husband. Unfortunately, they were reportedly in another part of the house when Mouhib carried out the dastardly act.
It was a nightmare Mouhib’s husband didn’t see coming, as he maintained that there were no warning signs before the murder. Sheriff Todd Baxter was just as bewildered. “There’s absolutely no explanation for us,” he said. “The word ‘evil’ comes to mind.”
But none of the postulations of Mouhib’s husband or Sheriff Todd is entirely true. The police had been to Mouhib’s home twice before this incident. In fact, she was the one who called 911 on both occasions. She is a licensed nurse specializing in mental health, and so she of all people would have known if something was wrong upstairs. She did recognize this and called 911 on March 5.
The deputies who showed up took her to an area hospital. Three days after, she called 911 again stating that she didn’t feel right. This time around, she spent almost 3 weeks (March 8-26) at Rochester General Hospital. The murder occurred 10 days after her release.
In a nutshell, she knew something was wrong, she asked for help twice. Apparently, the help wasn’t enough to prevent her brain from turning on her. It is particularly distressing that this could happen to a professional who had helped many other people with mental health issues, had the experience and knowledge to recognize the signs early on, tried to get help, and now has to deal with the fact that she decapitated her own son.
What then is the fate of the average Joe or Jane who may not have the same know-how as Mouhib? I mean most of us still find it hard to see our dentists twice in a year as recommended. And the stats say an average of 500 kids are killed by their parents annually in the US. 500!
It’s sad for her, sad for the family, sad for the immediate community, and sad for the general public. Maybe this was avoidable, but Mouhib is being charged with second-degree murder.