A shocking case of attempted murder-suicide has resulted in a mother dying after leaping eight stories from the window of her apartment in Harlem, with her baby in her arms.
The child, who is approximately 10 months old, has miraculously survived the fall, NY Daily News notes.
44-year-old Cynthia Wachenheim left a 13-page, handwritten suicide note before jumping to her death on Wednesday, February 13.
“I heard a small scream when she was in the air. [...] I noticed something falling, but I didn’t want to believe it was a person.
“It was a loud bang, it sounded like a big piece of wood hitting the floor. […] When I got closer, I saw the baby crying,” describes 18-year-old Steven Dominguez, who witnessed the horrific scene.
Before jumping, Wachenheim chronicled the reasons for which she would be taking her own life and that of her son Keston.
She refers to herself as a bad mother and apologizes to her husband, before writing about feeling depressed and about her son suffering from a physical handicap. Experts have compared the item to other samples and confirmed that the note was written by her.
“The note said she was not happy and she talked about what she planned to do. [She is] saying to her husband, ‘I love you. I’m making you suffer. You’re going to think I’m evil.’
“She thinks she’s a failing mother. On the last page, she refers to postpartum depression,” a source recalls.
The victim and her husband Hal Bacharach lived in a $300,000 (€232,000) apartment at The Sutton. Before giving birth and going on maternity leave, Wachenheim was a well-paid, 15-year court clerk, having graduated from Columbia law.
“She was wonderful — very devoted to the court (and) wonderful with everyone she worked with. It’s a tragedy,” chief clerk John Werner says.