BY STEFANO ESPOSITO AND MITCH DUDEK
A 52-year-old woman was taken into custody Monday morning in connection with the death her granddaughter, a 7-month-old girl whose neck was slashed with a circular saw in the Little Village neighborhood.
Investigators suspect the woman used the saw to stop the child from crying, a police source said.
Family members told authorities that the woman, who had been taking care of 7-month-old Rose Herrera in a house in the 2800 block of South Avers Avenue, had been taking antidepressant medication, authorities said.
Authorities responding to a 911 call arrived at the home about 9:30 a.m. and found Rose, who was pronounced dead on the scene, authorities said.
A police source said the grandmother stuffed a sock in the girl’s mouth, struck her in the head with a pipe wrench and then cut her neck and shoulder with the circular saw. She then cut her own neck with the saw.
An autopsy determined Rose died from blunt force injuries to the head, and suffocation from the sock placed in her mouth was listed as a contributing factor, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
The woman was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with the self-inflicted wounds, police said. Her condition had stabilized.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has no record of previous contact with the family, DCFS spokeswoman Veronica Resa said, citing initial reports.
Ben Llamas stood outside the home on Avers Monday morning. He said his best friend, who shows him pictures of his new baby every day, lives in the house.
Llamas, who works with his friend at a grain elevator, said his pal became distraught after receiving a phone call Monday morning while on the job.
“He seemed upset. I said, ‘You can’t drive.’ So I brought him here.’ ”
Llamas said his friend had moved into that house about a year ago with a woman. Together the couple had a young child, Llamas said.
“At first, he was reluctant, but when the baby came, he fell in love,” Llamas said. “He shows us pictures of that baby every day.”
The young woman’s parents live there as well, Llamas said.
A neighbor said the family live on the second floor of the building, while the owners of the property live on the first floor.
— Contributing: George Slefo
Scene where a baby was found dead / Photo by Stefano Esposito