A Washington woman whose family says she has a history of mental illness is being held in jail after she reportedly tossed her 1-year-old nephew out a second-story window.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was called to a Lynnwood shop last week after the owner called 911 to report a disturbed woman having some kind of issue.
The deputy said he arrived to find Beteha Kebede, 38, outside the shop. The deputy said Kebede, who spoke limited English, told him that “they” were trying to kill or hurt her, but could not articulate who "they" were.
The deputy believed Kebede was having a mental health issue, so he called for medics. While waiting for them to arrive, Kebede told the officer that she had thrown her nephew out of the house, a police report said.
The deputy said he at first believed she was referring to an adult, but then he saw medics at a nearby building who were there for a report of a baby who had fallen out a second-story window.
The deputy said Kebede gestured toward the building and said she had pushed and thrown the baby out the window. The deputy put the woman into the patrol car while he investigated further.
Officers at the building where the baby was hurt found a witness who lived downstairs. The woman told police she had been outside smoking when she heard a thump and saw the baby lying limp on the ground.
The woman then picked up the child, walked up to the unit where she knew the family lived and called 911.
Officers inside the unit said the window was 2 to 3 feet from the floor, and no furniture or other items were nearby.
A woman at the home, who was visiting from Ethiopia, said several family members had been home at the time of the incident, but Kebede and the child had been alone together in the room for a long time. The woman told deputies that Kebede quickly left just before the woman downstairs brought the injured child up. The boy's parents were not home at the time.
Investigators learned that Kebede does not live at the home but visits frequently. Her family said she is known to have mental health issues.
After providing Kebede with her Constitutional rights in both her native Ethiopian language and English, she gave a statement in which she said that earlier that day, she had talked to someone from California on the phone. After the call, she believed they were going to kill her and her children, investigators said.
She said she then threw her nephew out the window, believing it would solve problem of “them” killing her and other children, according to police documents.
Kebede’s bail was set at $250,000 Tuesday. She is being held in the Snohomish County Jail.