Woman with possible mental illness accused of throwing boy out window

LYNNWOOD — A Lynnwood area woman who police believe might suffer from mental illness was arrested late last week after allegedly tossing her 1-year-old nephew out of a second-story window.

The boy’s skull was fractured and he suffered brain injuries, police reported. An update of his condition wasn’t immediately available.

His aunt was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree domestic violence assault.

Beteha Kebede, who is from Ethiopia, told Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies that “they” are trying to kill her, but she was not able to articulate who “they” were. She reportedly said that she threw the child out the window, believing that her actions would prevent “them” from killing her and her children.

Detectives were told that Kebede, 38, had her own children removed from her care because of her mental illness and refusal to take medications, court papers said. Kebede “sees things, hears things and is very paranoid,” family members reportedly told police.

A downstairs tenant reportedly found the injured boy on the concrete in front of the home in the 14500 block of 36th Avenue West. She told police she was smoking on her porch when she heard a thud. She saw the boy lying on the ground, limp. He was bleeding from the mouth. She looked up and noticed that the second-story window was slightly open. She didn’t think the opening was large enough for a child to fit but she assumed that the boy fell, according to court papers.

She told detectives she picked up the boy and carried him upstairs to the family. The child’s parents weren’t home. Various relatives were inside and called 911. Kebede had left shortly before the neighbor brought the boy upstairs.

As paramedics were responding to the home Kebede reportedly tried to tell a nearby business owner that she had a problem. The shop owner couldn’t understand the woman and called 911.

A deputy found Kebede who reported that someone was trying to kill her. The deputy called for paramedics, concerned that the woman was suffering from a mental health crisis.

She reportedly told the deputy that she had thrown her nephew out of the house. She later pointed to a nearby home, where the deputy could see aid cars, and allegedly said she had “thrown the baby” out of a window, detectives wrote in an affidavit filed Monday in Everett District Court.

A witness told detectives that Kebede was alone with the child for a long time before she quickly left the home. No one heard the boy cry or any kind of disturbance.

Kebede doesn’t live in the home.

She allegedly told detectives she was talking to someone on the phone from California. She said that after the calls she believed “they” were going to kill her.

Detectives reported that Kebede reenacted how she tossed the child out the window.

“She did not show any emotion or remorse for her admitted actions,” sheriff’s detective David Fontenot wrote in the affidavit.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, hefley@heraldnet.com.

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