Roseville mother charged in stabbing of her girls

Date: 2008-08-22

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — The 60-year-old woman, sitting cross-legged in front of her house in this St. Paul suburb, was bleeding profusely from her neck.

Inside the house, the horror continued: Blood was everywhere, and the woman's 11-year-old daughter was lying unresponsive on her bedroom floor in a pool of blood. Her throat had been cut. And at a neighbor's house, the woman's other 11-year-old daughter was also bleeding - from knife and ax wounds.

"Kill me! Kill me!" the woman yelled as police approached her, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court.

The woman, Sylvia Sieferman, was charged with second-degree attempted murder in the alleged attack against the second daughter, Hannah Sieferman. Charges in the alleged attack of the first daughter were pending; Linnea Sieferman suffered life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition at Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul.

Authorities said Sylvia Sieferman attacked Linnea, then Hannah and then herself Thursday afternoon at the family's home in Roseville. Police said they found a note from Sylvia in the house that read, in part, "sorry, I can't deal with them anymore."

Sylvia Sieferman was hospitalized two months ago after fearing she might hurt herself or her daughters, former neighbor Carrie Micko told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Micko said she didn't understand how Sieferman could be released and the girls go back into the home, apparently without any follow-up. "Somebody should have gotten the clue that unless the circumstances at home changed those kids should not have gone back into the house," she told the newspaper.

Roseville police Capt. Rick Mathwig said that in this case, rules involving patient confidentiality would have likely prevented police from knowing if there had been trouble in the home.

According to the criminal complaint, Hannah told investigators her mother made her an egg sandwich for lunch, after which Hannah went to her sister's bedroom where the two talked. As she left the bedroom, Hannah told investigators she saw her mother enter her sister's bedroom with a pillow, a knife and an ax. According to the complaint, Sylvia Sieferman then stabbed Linnea multiple times with the knife as Hannah watched.

Hannah then ran downstairs to her mother's bathroom but forgot to lock the door, the complaint said. Her mother followed her and forced her way into the bathroom, confronting her daughter with the ax. She allegedly struck Hannah at least five times with the ax. Hannah told investigators her mother tried to stab her with the knife but that she grabbed onto the blade to defend herself.

During the assault, Sylvia Sieferman said "I'm a bad mom" and "I had to do this," according to her daughter's account of the assault. Hannah told investigators she kicked her mom and was able to escape to a neighbor's house.

Sylvia Sieferman was in stable condition at Regions Hospital, where sheriff's deputies were watching over her. Hannah was in good condition at Gillette Children's Hospital, where she was being treated for head trauma, a fractured skull and severe lacerations to her hand.

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