A North Carolina woman called 911 last week pleading for help as, she said, her daughter had just gotten a knife and was “trying to kill me.”
Minutes later, the body of 51-year-old Martha Hargett was found outside her home, covered in blood, according to another 911 call by a neighbor.
Melinda Hargett, Martha’s 29-year-old daughter, was quickly taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder, according to the Cleveland County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office.
Audio from the deadly altercation — which occurred in Shelby, North Carolina, before sunrise on Friday — captures how quickly it escalated to violence.
Three 911 calls connected to the killing were obtained and published by the Shelby Star.
In the first, reportedly made just after 3:30 a.m. Friday, Melinda told a dispatcher she wanted “to be a boy” and needed an EMS but was unable to give her exact address. She said she lived in “the sky.”
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The dispatcher asked to speak with someone else, at which point Melinda’s mother came onto the call and gave their address. She sounded calm, just as her daughter did, and said Melinda was not violent.
“I don’t know why she’s calling you,” Martha said.
“Do you have any weapons in the house or anything?” the dispatcher asked later in the call.
“Yeah, we got knives, but that’s about it,” Martha said, after which Melinda was apparently heard yelling and her mom said, “Stop, Melinda.”
Asked if Melinda had talked about harming herself, Martha said no.
The call ended when the dispatcher said authorities were headed to the Hargett home.
Minutes later, at 3:45 a.m., Martha called 911 again, sounding frantic: “My daughter is getting a knife and trying to kill me,” she yelled to the operator, according to the audio.
Martha never hung up her phone and the remainder of the audio shows a chaotic scene. Sheriff’s investigators tell PEOPLE that authorities believe Martha tried to escape her apartment after being attacked inside.
She is next heard on her call gasping and screaming “help me,” over and over.
Melinda, her daughter, is heard not longer after yelling “mom.” She also apparently says to herself, “Melinda why? No. What did you do? No. No, I didn’t.”
Officers arrived at the residence to find Martha dead on her front lawn.
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The Star reports that local sheriff’s officials had responded to the Hargett home on 15 occasions since February 2017, half the time for psychiatric or suicide calls.
Melinda also previously spent time in a psychiatric facility, according to local news station WBTV.
In the third call from Friday morning, a neighbor indicated Martha was lying outside.
“Somebody needs to send an ambulance and police … I think she’s dead,” the woman told the dispatcher. “The mother is laying out there in the yard. There’s blood all over her.”
Melinda is in custody and undergoing psychiatric evaluation, authorities said.
She has not entered a plea yet and does not have a lawyer on record who could comment on her behalf.