• Sarah Ganoe reportedly texted her fiancé about the horrific scene at home
  • Her fiancé called 911 and informed authorities of the threat
  • Officers found the baby's body and the injured girl in the apartment
  • Ganoe, who was at the scene, was taken into custody


A Virginia mother has been charged with murder after she allegedly stabbed her infant son to death and injured her minor daughter.

Sarah Ganoe, 35, of Newport News, was charged Tuesday for stabbing to death her 10-month-old son Zell Howard and injuring her 8-year-old daughter whose identity has not been revealed.

Ganoe is facing one count each of second-degree murder and malicious wounding, as well as two counts each of felony child neglect and using a knife in a felony.

The incident came to light Monday at around 9:30 p.m. after the emergency officers responded to a 911 call made by the children's father. The man, who was erratic during the call, claimed that had received a text message from his fiancée, Ganoe, about the scene that would greet him at home, officers said as per Virginia Pilot.

When the responding officers entered the apartment, they found the horrific scene. They discovered the body of the infant, who had been stabbed multiple times, and the injured 8-year-old girl in the bedroom of the apartment. The injured girl was taken to the hospital where she remains in critical condition.

Ganoe, who was at the scene, was immediately taken into custody. The police found a pocket knife, which was about 2.5 inches long, near the infant's body. Ganoe is currently being held without bond at the Newport News City Jail.

"Any loss of life is difficult, but it's especially challenging when it involves innocent children," Police Chief Steve Drew said in a news release.

"I cannot be more impressed with the professionalism and compassion demonstrated by Newport News police personnel, starting with the dispatchers who took the call to the officers, detectives and forensic technicians who handled and processed a horrific crime scene," he added.

According to Drew, officers have already responded to a couple of "domestic disturbance-type" complaints from the apartment this year.

"What will take place now is trying to understand the 'why' in the history," Drew explained. "Those things are ongoing ... Without going into it, let me just say this — for two children, one to be killed and the other to be hurt like that, there's obviously issues there."

The police are also investigating if other city agencies also had any previous interaction with the family.

Following the incident, Drew has mandated 10 to 15 officers, including dispatchers and forensic technicians who worked at the scene, to see the police department's psychologist.

"We're all human," Drew said. "Anything dealing with a child is particularly challenging for us in this profession."

The infant’s father called 911 after he received threat message from the suspect about the scene he would see when he comes back home. Pixabay