CRIME
10/19/2011 04:01 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2011

Lorenza Delgadillo Penguelly, Woman Who Drowned Child In 1986, Accused Of Stabbing Mother In Face

Almost 25 years after drowning her 5-month-old daughter in San Diego Bay, Lorenza Delgadillo Penguelly now stands accused of repeatedly stabbing her 86-year-old mother.

Penguelly, 51, was arrested Monday morning after allegedly stabbing her mother, Elvira Delgadillo, eight times in the face, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. The 86-year-old, who also suffered cuts to her hands and arms, is expected to recover after being hospitalized.

The alleged attacker is being held without bail on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, 10 News reports. It was unclear whether or not she had an attorney.

Delgadillo's niece told The Union Tribune that Penguelly is mentally ill.

In 1986, Penguelly was convicted of drowning her daughter in San Diego Bay after first offering up her child to passersby on the Grape Street Pier, according to the Associated Press. Defense attorneys at the time successfully argued that mental illness was behind Penguelly's actions.

From The Union-Tribune:

Her attorneys argued that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis, a rare maternal psychiatric disorder that can prompt mothers to kill. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, was sentenced to six years in prison and sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County for psychiatric treatment.

Some of the testimony surrounding the drowning is disturbing.

"She didn't make any cry when I threw her in the water. She floated and moved her little arms," Penguelly said according to court records.

The girl's body was founding floating by a 14-year-old boy the next day.

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