A mom from Arizona who is in the Air Force has been charged with attempting to drown her 20-month-old daughter after she was told she was going to be deployed to Turkey but couldn’t take her child with her.
Phoeteama Janiece Neal, 28, who was stationed at
Luke Air Force Base, got the announcement this week that she would be
sent overseas on Aug. 31. She asked if she could take her daughter, but
was denied her request and told by a judge that custody of her little
girl would be given to the child’s father.
Neal then reportedly asked her commander at the base if she could be
spared from deployment because of her parenting duties. She says she was
told the Air Force would “get back to her.”
We’ll never know whether this mom’s request would have been honored because the next thing she did was too horrible to believe.
Neal reportedly called 911 and, crying, told the dispatcher: “I just drowned my baby. She’s drowned.”
When police arrived at her home, they say they found her holding the
toddler, who was wet and fully clothed. First responders were able to
resucitate the girl, but she is currently in extremely critical
condition at a hospital and doctors say they think she has less than a 1 percent chance of survival.
Neal was arrested and charged with attempted murder. This poor little
girl’s dad is also in the military and is stationed at an Air Force
base out of state.
This makes absolutely zero sense, though I understand logic doesn’t
come into play when people commit deplorable crimes. But still — Neal
obviously cared for her daughter, so much so that she asked if she could
not be deployed to Turkey. We know she and her child’s father were
involved in some kind of custody battle, but we aren’t sure of the
For now, let’s just hope Neal’s baby girl pulls through this horrific
ordeal because she deserves a chance to live a long, healthy life.
Why do you think this mom would try to drown her toddler?
Image via Goodyear Police Department
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