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Woman attempts suicide with her young child in her arms

The Attorney General’s office has charged a 28-year-old woman with endangering the welfare of a child when she attempted to commit suicide in Fogagogo by walking into the ocean with her two-year-old daughter.


Due to the sensitive nature of the case, Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant.


The woman was arrested Saturday afternoon when bystanders—who saw her walking into the ocean with her baby—contacted the Department of Public Safety for assistance.


Assistant Attorney General Alema Leota told the court that the government intends to file additional charges in this case. In the meantime the woman, whose bail was set at $200, will have her next status hearing later this week.


According to the government’s case, on August 02, 2014 police received a call seeking assistance regarding the defendant, who was “trying to commit suicide with her two year old daughter at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort.” Police responded and met with the man who reported the incident to police.


He said that he saw the woman walking towards the ocean carrying her child and he and other bystanders called out to the woman to come back, but she kept on going.


Witnesses told police the woman was struck with a big wave, which pushed her and her baby ashore and almost drowned them.


Police said they spoke to the suspect and her husband who told police they had an argument and she got mad and went way with his stepdaughter. The husband told police he was shocked to hear that his wife attempted to commit suicide by walking into the ocean.


Court filings say that police also spoke to the woman who stated that she got tired of her husband accusing her of having love affairs with other men and she told her husband not to bring up this issue anymore.


The woman also told police she was fed up when her husband called her names and this really hurt her feelings so she decided to commit suicide to end the pain. “She stated that it is the best for her and her daughter to die, so that no one will ever hurt them again.” The two-year-old baby is now under the care of the American Samoa Government.


Endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor that carries a jail term of up to one year in jail, or a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley represents the woman.