A 4-year-old girl was the only witness when her “loving” paternal grandmother stabbed her sister while visiting her home in the Bronx (NYC).
The 7-year-old victim miraculously survived after losing a third of the blood in her small body and remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition following the severe injuries she sustained Tuesday morning when she was stabbed more than a dozen times, the Daily News reported.
According to witnesses, the grandmother, Maritza Yauger, 65, was seen affectionate when visited by her two granddaughters, who live in New Jersey.
An uncle of the girls was at the home sleeping and, upon awakening, found his niece unconscious and covered in blood on a bed inside the apartment on Clinton Ave. near E. 169th St., Morrisania neighborhood, around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.
He called the police, who picked up the wounded woman and rushed her to Lincoln Hospital in a squad car without waiting for an ambulance, authorities said. The victim’s 4-year-old baby sister was unharmed.
“She kept telling me, ‘I love my granddaughter. I give her everything'”
Maria Castillo, a hairdresser close to the accused grandmother.
The grandmother was arrested at the apartment, taken to St. Barnabas Hospital for medical evaluation, and charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and other charges. The knife she allegedly used to stab her granddaughter for unknown reasons was recovered at the scene.
“Dear Lord, I can’t believe it,” said a longtime friend and neighbor of Yauger’s who only wanted to be named Emma D. “I’m crying because I’m shocked. She loved this little girl.”
Doctors told investigators that the unidentified girl suffered more than a dozen stab wounds, including deep cuts to her windpipe and the left side of her chest. The knife punctured one of her lungs and apparently also a kidney, police sources said. She also suffered internal bleeding near her heart and lost a third of her blood. On Tuesday, she underwent surgery and received a blood transfusion.
The victim and her little sister live with their parents in New Jersey but stayed at their grandmother’s apartment when the assault occurred, police said.
Hairstylist Maria Castillo, 47, who has styled the grandmother’s hair for years, said her client often brought her granddaughter with her when she had an appointment, and she has also done the girl’s hair and nails. “She would tell me, ‘I have two sons. I don’t have a daughter. I love my granddaughter. I give her everything.'” She added that Yauger had been unaccompanied at a business the day before.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) had never investigated the grandmother or her family for abuse or neglect prior to this incident, the law enforcement source said.
All charges are merely accusations, and the individuals being prosecuted are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.