A mother in Ohio is behind bars after police say that she killed her 5-year-old daughter in their apartment, repeatedly stabbing the little girl with a kitchen knife. Menokka Karr Nealy, 29, was taken into custody on Saturday evening and is facing charges of aggravated murder and felonious assault in the death of E’Nijah Noelle Holland, Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC reported.
Just after allegedly stabbing her daughter to death, Nealy reportedly spoke to the girl’s father and grandmother, telling them both that she had just killed E’Nijah.
Nealy appeared before a judge Monday in Bedford Heights Municipal Court for her arraignment where she reportedly waived her right to a preliminary hearing and formally entered a plea of not guilty to the aforementioned charges. The judge reportedly ordered Nealy to remain in detention at the Cuyahoga County Jail on $2 million bond and announced to the court that her case had already been sent to a Cuyahoga County grand jury.
Nealy was granted a court-appointed attorney.
WKYC and Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW both reported that E’Nijah’s father, 29-year-old Gregory Holland, also called 911 and requested a welfare check at around the same time that E’Nijah’s grandmother called after having an alarming Facetime conversation with Nealy. Gregory reportedly told 911 dispatcher that Nealy had unambiguously stated that she’d just stabbed their daughter.
“She said she stabbed her,” Holland told the dispatcher, per WJW.
Joy Holland, E’Nijah’s grandmother, reportedly said the conversation with Nealy that prompted her to call the police was even more disturbing, with the younger woman allegedly taunting her about E’Nijah’s death.
“I was calling my grandbaby to tell her that I bought her a gift that she asked me to buy her and as soon as I called her mother said, ‘she’s dead, and God’s coming to get you,'” Joy reportedly told WKYC.
As soon as the call ended, Joy Holland reportedly called police and requested a welfare check at the Southgate Towers Apartment Complex located in the 5300 block of Northfield Road where E’Nijah and her mother lived.
Officers with the Bedford Heights Police Department responded to the request shortly after the call. Upon arriving at the apartment, first responders reportedly entered the home and found Holland lying on the floor in a pool of blood inside one of the back bedrooms in the home. She appeared to have sustained multiple stab wounds to her torso.
Personnel from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the home, taking custody of the body and pronouncing E’Nijah dead on the scene. Nealy, who was still in the apartment, was immediately arrested.
“It’s unimaginable to think that somebody would do that to their child,” Sergeant Robert Major with Bedford Heights Police said in a statement following Nealy’s arrest. “Our hearts go out to the family, especially the child’s father. I couldn’t imagine what he’s going through right now.”
Investigators reportedly don’t yet know what may have prompted Nealy to fatally attack her daughter.
“It’s still early in the investigation, so we are not sure what motivated any of this, but just speaking to the mother, it’s our understanding that she stabbed her. We’re not sure why,” Detective Ericka Payne reportedly told WJW. “We just know it was multiple times and it was a kitchen knife.”
WKYC reported that Gregory Holland had already filed court papers and was in the process of trying to gain full custody of E’Nijah, but the proceedings had been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic and recent weather events.
[image via Cuyahoga County Jail]
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