The shockingly brutal murder of a four-year-old girl last week appears to have been perpetrated by her mother, according to authorities and courtroom statements.
Marci Webber, a 43-year-old woman who had been staying in west suburban Bloomingdale, is being held on a $5 million bond in the death of her daughter Magdalene.
In a bond hearing Sunday, Marci explained that she stabbed her daughter to keep her from being sold as an "Internet sex slave," NBC Chicago reports.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Webber had been staying with the 4-year-old in her grandmother's home in Bloomingdale for several weeks, taking refuge from a custody battle over another child, age 10, in her home in East Nassau, New York.
Sometime before 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday, Webber allegedly plied her daughter with Benadryl and sleeping pills, and placed her in the bathtub of the Bloomingdale house. She then killed Magdalene, or "Maggie" with a single stabbing blow to the neck, which authorities say was delivered with so much force that it struck the girl's spine and nearly severed her head.
A four-inch folding knife found on the scene appears to have been the murder weapon.
After delivering the fatal wound to her daughter, Webber wrote the words "Divine Mercy" in the girl's blood on the bathroom wall, investigators found.
Webber's eldest daughter, 18, discovered the body that afternoon. Webber had also attempted suicide by self-inflicted slash wounds to her wrists and throat, the Chicago Tribune reports. She survived the attempt, and was placed under police guard at the Adventist GlenOaks Hospital.
Prosecutors anticipate that Webber will enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, and are preparing a mental health examination for her before the trial.
At Sunday's hearing, though, she was alert and intent, asking for her bond to be reduced. Judge Richard Russo denied her request.
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