A Mississippi mother has been charged with child abuse after sending disturbing text messages saying she choked her baby daughter with a car charger and left her in the woods.
Police learned of the abuse on Dec. 13. Santangela Turner, 26, was accused of threatening to harm her 3-month-old baby, and had sent photos showing herself holding a white cord around the infant's neck, the Daily Mail reported. Another photo showed her pointing a knife at the baby.
The Jones County Sheriff's Department received the tip from Child Protective Services. They took to Facebook to provide further details on the incident.
"The report stated the complainant had received text messages from Turner stating she had choked the infant with a car charger and she left the infant in the woods next to the apartment complex where she lived," the Facebook post read. "Turner also sent pictures showing a white cord around the infant’s neck, accompanied by another text threatening harm to the child.
"Additional pictures were sent showing Turner pulling the cord around the infant’s neck and the infant crying, as well as a picture of the baby lying on her back and a knife pointed at the baby’s neck. "
Turner turned herself in to police on Dec. 18 after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She has been charged with felonious child abuse.
The suspect's family said she was suffering from postpartum depression and had been attending psychological counseling sessions, KOKI reported. Her bail was set at $10,000, and she has been ordered to stay away from children, including her daughter.
Turner was released from prison on Dec. 20. It is unknown whether she has an attorney. She has not yet entered a plea on her charges, according to court officials.
Turner's baby has been placed in the care of her father, a sheriff's office spokesperson told People. Turner could be facing five years to life in prison if convicted, The Tribune reported.
It is not uncommon for women to feel overwhelmingly sad, anxious, stressed or tired after giving birth, according to the American Psychological Association. One in seven women experience a far-more serious case of postpartum depression.
Reactions to Turner's arrest were mixed among social media users.
"Instead of always being negative lift her up in prayer that girl loves her kids....she wasn’t herself depression is real you never know what demons a person are fighting or what battles are at hand just pray for the babygirl and [mom]," wrote one Facebook user. "Her family also."
"I don’t know which is sadder the woman having the audacity to do this or the people making excuses for her. From PTSD, to needing attention, and everything in between," wrote another. "This poor child! praying hard for that precious baby and that it falls in a loving hand and she doesn’t ever get to see the child again! she’ll deserve much more than she’ll ever get."
Sources: Daily Mail, Jones County MS Sheriff's Department/Facebook, KOKI, People, The Tribune, APA / Featured Image: Edwin & Kelly Tofslie/Flickr / Embedded Images: Jones County MS Sheriff's Department/Facebook, Fox23 via Daily Mail