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Woman Charged With Murder In Drowning Deaths Of 1-Year-Old, 3-Year-Old Daughters

This story includes graphic descriptions that some readers may find disturbing.

A New Jersey mother of two was charged with murder after authorities said she drowned her two young children following an episode of “concerning thoughts.”

Naomi Elkins, 27, was charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon in connection to the deaths of her 1-year-old and 3-year-old girls, Ocean County prosecutors announced Wednesday. Her family said in a statement that Elkins had a history of severe mental illness. She has not yet entered a plea.

Lakewood Township police responded to Elkins’ home at around 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday after emergency responders reported two children in cardiac arrest and attempted first aid, according to the county prosecutors’ release. The children were pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives investigating the incident found that both children had been drowned, and that the 1-year-old had also been stabbed, according to the release. Elkins was taken into custody without incident.

Elkins told detectives that her husband had left for a business trip the night before and she went to work at a local day care, according to a police affidavit. That same day, she started having “concerning thoughts,” as the affidavit put it, and “spent the night praying.”

Elkins said that she went to work again the next day, but when she returned home, “she believed that she needed to kill the children for religious purposes,” according to the affidavit.

She then allegedly admitted to stabbing the 1-year-old, but “indicated that she only slightly punctured [the child] with the knife.” Authorities, however, said the child had a “deep laceration, in the middle of

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