SHIPROCK, N.M. (TCD) — A federal grand jury recently indicted a 33-year-old mother on charges related to the 2022 stabbing death of her 7-year-old daughter.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico announced Monday, June 5, that Maylene John, a member of the Navajo Nation, was arraigned on an indictment charging her with second-degree murder. She was indicted by a federal grand jury May 24.
On Oct. 24, 2022, John’s brother reportedly heard his niece yell for help, rushed to a bedroom and noticed it was locked, so he kicked the door open. Once inside, the brother allegedly found the child “lying on the floor with a stab wound to the torso,” and his sister “sitting at the foot of the bed holding a knife.”
As John’s brother applied pressure to the child’s wound with a blanket, John allegedly held a knife up to her own neck. John’s brother then forced his sister to drop the knife, and he threw it out of the room, the Attorney’s Office said.
The suspect’s brother rushed to a neighbor’s house and had them call for help.
Navajo Police took John into custody, and emergency medical services pronounced her daughter dead shortly after 3:20 a.m.
Authorities reportedly recovered the bloodied knife, a stuffed animal, and a bloodstained blanket at the scene.
John has allegedly been in and out of rehab for drug issues. During an interview with authorities, John reportedly admitted she smoked methamphetamine earlier in the day and “could not recall much of the day,” but she “instantly felt hurt because she caused her daughter pain.”
According to the Attorney’s Office, “John claimed not to know what precipitated the stabbing,” and she “‘blacked out’ after the incident.”
The suspect’s brother reportedly told officials his sister had “suicidal tendencies sporadically for the past 10 years,” but she was acting normally before going to bed that night.
John faces up to life in prison if convicted. Her trial has not yet been scheduled.