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Mother tells Bedford Heights police she was responsible for stabbing 5-year-old child to death

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Posted at 10:06 PM, Feb 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 18:56:59-05

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio — The mother of a 5-year-old child was arrested on Saturday after a child was found stabbed to death inside a Bedford Heights apartment, according to the Bedford Heights Police Department. Police said Monday that she claimed responsibility for the stabbing.

Around 6:30 p.m. officers received a report that a mother had stabbed her child in the 5300 block of Northfield Road.

Once on scene, officers found a child with multiple stab wounds to the body laying on the bedroom floor. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested the mother, identified as Menokka Nealy, who was still on scene. Nealy is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday for charges including aggravated murder and felonious assault.

"In my 27 years, this is my first time dealing with this," Bedford Heights detective Ericka Payne said. "This is a lot. This is a heavy one and we deal with a lot of with adults who do things to each other. But when it's a kid involved, it just takes it to a whole new level. What we want people to take from it is if you feel or suspect something might be going on in the way of child abuse or neglect, give someone a call or have someone check it out."

Payne told News 5 Nealy spoke with police about the incident, but offered no motive.

"She told us she was the one responsible for doing this," Payne added. "There is no reason why to justify it or explain it."

Payne said a family member was checking in on a Valentine’s Day gift for E’Nijah when Nealy admitted to hurting the five year old, which prompted a wellness check.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the apartment complex, took custody of the child's body and has since identified the child.

A spokesperson for Bedford Schools confirmed the child, whose name was E'Nijah, was a kindergarten student at Central Primary School.

The district released the following statement:

“We have our social-emotional learning team members (social workers, school counselors, mental health therapists) at the school today and for as long as necessary to talk to any students, staff or family who want to talk."

The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call police at 440-439-1234.

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