A mother with terminal cancer strangled her nine-year-old daughter then jumped out of an eighth-floor window in Russia after ‘having a mental breakdown’.
Maria Russkikh, 29, survived the fall in the city of Novosibirsk, southwestern Siberia, and is in hospital.
She was found lying on the snow and moaning in pain by residents of her apartment block who called emergency services.
A male resident told local media: ‘The woman was almost naked. Her legs and hands were covered with blood though there were no wounds on her body.
‘I asked her what happened but she did not reply.’
‘She was only saying, ”Help me, I cannot feel my legs and arms”.’
A paramedic crew loaded the woman into an ambulance as police officers entered her apartment to discover her daughter, nine, lying in a pool of blood near the front door.
Forensic examination showed the child was hit on the head with a heavy object before being murdered.
The blood found on the Russkikh’s body belonged to her daughter, investigators said.
The woman, who has terminal cancer, left a death note in the apartment.
According to a source, the note said: ‘I cannot live with these unbearable headaches anymore. Forgive me.’
At the end of her letter Russkikh wrote that ‘she loves her daughter very much’, the source reported.
The mother is now being treated for numerous fractures she had received due to the fall. Doctors say her condition is serious but stable.
A statement of the local Investigative Committee said: ‘According to the investigation, on January 16, the woman strangled her nine-year-old daughter to death.
‘After that she made an attempt to commit suicide and was hospitalised with numerous injuries.
‘The suspect will be placed into custody after she is discharged from hospital.’
Police launched a criminal case for murder of a minor against the mother. Detectives assume the woman had a mental breakdown triggered by her disease when she killed the girl and tried to take her own life.
The family was regarded as a good one by its neighbours.
A woman living next door told: ‘The woman was a housewife. She almost never left the apartment. Her daughter constantly carried heavy bags from the local grocery store.
‘The woman’s husband is a military man. He was always at work.’