KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Kansas City woman who authorities said decapitated her 6-year-old son was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office said.
Tasha Haefs, 35, was charged after officers found her son dead at their east Kansas City home late Tuesday, according to a probable cause statement. It was not immediately known if Haefs had an attorney to speak on her behalf.
Police said in an affidavit for a search warrant that a woman called from the house and said the devil was trying to attack her before she hung up, local media reported.
The statement said responding officers saw blood on the front steps of the home and apparent blood and hair on the front door and a severed head near the home’s threshold. A woman inside refused to open the door.
After police were told other children lived in the house and had not been seen for several days, they forcibly entered the home. They found the boy’s body and saw Haefs with blood on her and knives and a screwdriver with apparent blood throughout the home, according to the affidavit.
No other children were found in the home. A decapitated dog was found in the basement.
During a police interview, Haefs identified the victim as her son and admitted that she killed him in a bathtub and decapitated him, according to the affidavit written by Detective Zakary Glidewell.
It was not immediately clear where the other children in the home were.
Haefs, who was also charged with armed criminal action, was being held in the Jackson County Jail on no bond.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement that the child’s gruesome death “takes our breath away.”
She said the death calls for law enforcement, public health, social services and all their partners to work to better protect Kansas City’s children.
“Let’s also focus, Kansas City, on the violence among us,” Peters Baker wrote. “It’s a challenge we can no longer ignore. We cannot become complacent with 180 or 170 or even 150 homicides per year and hundreds more shot but not killed. ... Going forward let’s keep a clear goal: Reduce our community’s violence and alert mental health professionals whenever we are aware of someone in need of intervention.”