Police arrest woman for stabbing newborn, say she may be mentally ill

By Thanh Duc, Thanh Nien News

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 The baby is still under intensive care at Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital 1. Photo: Nguyen Mi
Police in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long on Monday launched a criminal investigation into a woman for allegedly stabbing a newborn baby in a hospital.
Nguyen Thi Van, 51, is being kept under close watch at the Vinh Long General Hospital as she has signs of mental problems.
Police said they are waiting for medical test results to decide what to do next with her. 
Vinh Long police told the press that Van, a native of Ben Tre, went from the province to the neighboring Vinh Long Province last Friday morning.
She came to the Vinh Long General Hospital and allegedly told people that she was in a charity mission.
She started talking to Vo Thi Duyen, whose 11-day-old son Duong Minh Phat was being treated at the hospital for pneumonia.
She asked for Duyen’s permission to spend the night on a bed next to the boy’s.
At around 3 a.m. on Saturday, when Duyen and her son were sleeping, Van allegedly stabbed the boy in the head with a knife.
Duyen woke up. Van tried to run away but Duyen chased after her and grabbed her.
Other people helped Duyen to arrest Van and handed her over to the police.
The boy was transferred to the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital No.1 with the knife still in his head at around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.
An X-ray scan showed the knife had gone 11 centimeters from the newborn baby's forehead to his brain.
Doctors performed a three-hour procedure to open the boy’s skull and successfully took the 28cm-long knife out.
Nguyen Thi Van, 51, is escorted by two policemen. She has been allegedly stabbed a newborn boy in the head with a 28-cm knife. Photo: Thanh Duc
On Monday, the hospital told the press that the boy had got out of danger. His condition is now stable.
Van told Vinh Long police she was “depressed” as she overheard people saying she had mental illness issued during the engagement party of her 25-year-old son around one week earlier.
She took a knife used to slaughter pigs for the party and brought it with her to Vinh Long.
She then allegedly used the knife to stab the newborn baby.
Van did not have previous records of mental illness, according to police.

Many mentally ill people in Vietnam often live with their families without being diagnosed and receiving proper treatment. 

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