Sarah Whitney Ganoe allegedly texted her fiancé and threatened him about the horrific scene he would find when he got home Monday night, say police

By KC Baker
May 12, 2021 01:49 PM
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Sarah Whitney Ganoe
Sarah Whitney Ganoe
| Credit: Newport News Police Department

A Virginia mother faces murder charges after allegedly stabbing her 10-month-old son to death and seriously wounding her 8-year-old daughter, say police.

On Monday night, Newport News police officers responded to a call about a "female in distress" at an apartment on Hilltop Drive, according to a release, and found what Chief Steve Drew described at a press conference as "a horrific scene."

The fiancé of Sarah Whitney Ganoe, 35, had allegedly "received threats" via text from her describing "the scene that he would see when he came home," Drew said, the Daily Press reports.

Officers who entered the apartment found the boy and girl suffering from "multiple stab wounds," Drew said, local station WAVY reports.

"The officers who went across the threshold and into that apartment — the things they saw, they will remember for the rest of their careers," Drew said.

"Both of them were stabbed multiple times," Drew said, the Daily Press reports. "All over the body ... We're not dealing with an adult body. We're dealing with an 8-year-old and a 10-month-old, right? So any stab wound is critical."

Officers found a pocket knife nearby, he said.

The baby, identified as Zell Howard, died at the scene. The little girl was flown to a hospital in Norfolk, where she was listed in critical but stable condition.

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Officers arrested Ganoe, 35, at the scene. She was taken to a local hospital to treat "superficial injuries," Drew said.

On Tuesday, she was charged with one count each second-degree murder and malicious wounding and two counts felony child neglect.

She is being held without bond at the Newport News City Jail. She has not entered a plea. It's unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

Police have responded to "domestic disturbance-type" complaints at the apartment "a couple of times already this year," Drew said, the Daily Press reports.

"What will take place now is trying to understand the 'why' in the history," he said, according to the Daily Press.

The father of the baby arrived on the scene of the stabbings Monday night, Drew said, WAVY reports. The father of the 8-year-old lives out of state.