CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A woman who had previously admitted blacking out from drug use decapitated her 2-year-old son and put the boy's head in her freezer before killing herself, just five months after having regained custody of the boy from the state's child welfare agency, authorities said Wednesday.
Chevonne Thomas killed her son and called 911 just after midnight Tuesday, then fatally stabbed herself while officers were outside, police said.
During the 911 call, she first accused her boyfriend of stabbing Zahree Thomas, but then said repeatedly "I did it, I did it," said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor.
Laughlin described the call as "long, rambling, very incoherent."
Results of toxicology tests will be needed to determine if Thomas was high on drugs at the time.
Thomas, 33, had lost custody of Zahree in November 2010 after allegedly leaving the boy unattended in a car and admitting to police she had smoked marijuana laced with PCP and blacked out in a nearby park, authorities said.
She regained custody of the boy in April, Laughlin said.
The state's child welfare agency, the Division of Children and Families, had no immediate comment. It has been under the supervision of a federal judge and undergone a major overhaul since 2003 as a result of high-profile lapses in the oversight of children.
Officers responding to Chevonne Thomas' 911 call early Wednesday found Zahree's body on the first floor of the home, then discovered his head in the freezer.
Laughlin said the mother was upstairs still talking to the 911 operator when officers backed out of the home because they didn't know if she was armed.
The mother stabbed herself in the neck with a kitchen knife, apparently within five minutes of hanging up on dispatchers, he said. Police tried to get her to open a door but eventually had to break through a second-story window.
A medical examiner also found a chest stab wound and marks on the child's arms, Laughlin said.
In the 2010 case, Thomas was charged with child endangerment but the case was dropped because of a problem with a witness, Laughlin said.
During the investigation, Thomas admitted that she blacked out from smoking marijuana with PCP and couldn't remember where she left her child, according to the arrest warrant.
Phencyclidine, which as a street drug goes by names including PCP, was discontinued as an anesthetic in 1965 because patients "became agitated, delusional, and irrational," according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It has been known to cause hallucinations and paranoia.
Neighbor Melanie Troutman said she saw Thomas sitting with her boyfriend in front of their home about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, "clearly upset" and topless. But another neighbor disputed that she was topless.
She said the boyfriend led Thomas back into the home a short time later.
Authorities said the boyfriend left before the murder-suicide.
Thelma Moore, a former neighbor who came to the scene of the crime, said she had known Thomas for several years. She said the woman "just walked around and talked and cursed to herself."
Thomas had been seeing a behavioral health therapist and described her as being in "a world all to herself," Moore said.
The woman's landlord, who did not want to be identified, said Thomas had lived at the home for two months and was a perfect tenant, keeping the apartment tidy and clean. She said the woman received disability assistance and child support to pay her $950 monthly rent and had recently furnished the apartment.
Thomas left a message for the landlord Tuesday, asking her to fix a fence. The landlord thought she sounded like something was wrong.
Court records show Thomas faced dozens of judgments and liens filed in civil court in New Jersey dating back to 2002.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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