NY Lawyer Jumps to Her Death from 8th Floor with Baby in Arms, But Baby Survives
A distraught NYC mother held on to her baby boy and then plunged eight stories out of an apartment window to her death in an apparent suicide on Wedneday, but miraculously the baby survived.
According to New York City police, Cynthia Wachenheim, 44, was found on the Harlem street with her son, Keston, in her arms. Upon impact, the baby, who is believed to be about 10-months-old, bounced out of her arms and began crying. A police officer who responded to the incident took the boy to the hospital where he is believed to be in stable condition.
Police said that a window to the upper Manhattan apartment was wide open, and that there were no signs of a struggle inside. There were no safety bars on the windows.
A neighbor told reporters that Wachenheim was heard arguing with her husband, Hal Bacharach, 48, at the apartment. Following the argument, her husband was een on surveillance video leaving the apartment. Two hours later, witnesses saw Wachenheim leap to her death with her son in her arms.
Wachenheim was pronounced dead at the scene. It is thought that she was suffering from post-partum depression.
The woman is also said to have left an incoherent, rambling 13-page suicide note in which she talked about her failings as a mother. The note also reported refers to a handicap that she believed Keston was suffering from, and her worries about how he was developing. It was not clear if the baby did in fact have any mental or physical problems, but a law enforcement official told reporters that although Wachenheim was convinced that her son had cerebral palsy, doctors said that there was nothing wrong with the boy.
The boy is being treated at Harlem Hospital Center and is expected to survive.
Wachenheim, a high school valedictorian in Albany and a Columbia Law graduate, was on maternity leave from her $118,000-a-year job in the city court system. She had worked there for more than 15 years.