A 38-year-old Virginia mother is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly trying to drown her 7-month-old son in the freezing cold Appomattox River last month, say police.
Just before 10:30 a.m. on January 11, officers responded to a call about a woman who’d waded into the Appomattox River near the 500 block of Riverside Ave. in Hopewell, Lt. Michael Lanford of the Hopewell Police Department says in a release.
Witnesses allegedly saw the woman, identified as Leslie Jordan Kuykendall, of Prince George County, taking the child into the frigid water, according to the release.
Witnesses told police they saw her walking toward the river that morning, before wading in, dropping the baby in waist-high water, and walking further into the river, The Progress-Index reports.
The Hopewell Police Department and the Hopewell Fire Department responded to the scene and located the woman and the baby, who were in waist-high water.
Officers waded into the river and retrieved the unconscious baby, who had to be resuscitated when he was brought to shore, say police.
Members of the Hopewell Fire Department were able to revive the child, who was transported to VCU Medical Center for further medical attention, say police.
In the meantime, members of the Hopewell Fire Department used a rescue boat to retrieve the woman, who’d walked further out into the river.
“We got her on the boat and we headed back to shore because we knew she had been in the water an unknown amount of time for at least five to ten minutes, and we were concerned of her medical conditions,” Langford said, ABC 8 reports.
The temperature of the river was about 46 degrees at the time the woman and baby went into the water, The Progress-Index reports.
The air temperature was about 37 degrees with a wind-chill factor of 32 degrees, according to the outlet.
She was taken to John Randolph Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
The Hopewell Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) began a criminal investigation into what happened that morning.
On Jan. 19, Kuykendall was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
She was transported to the Riverside Regional Jail, where she remains held.
She has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.
The baby boy, says Langford, “was released from VCU Hospital and is doing well.”
“Special thanks to the hard-working men and women of the Hopewell Police Department and the Hopewell Fire & Rescue who risked their lives this morning to save a woman and her child,” Langford wrote in the release on Jan. 11.
“Our team responded quickly to the 500 block of Riverside Ave, where they entered the freezing waters of the Appomattox River and removed a child and then assisted Hopewell Bureau of Fire with removing the mother from the water as well.”