QUINCY, Mass. – A Massachusetts woman suspected of killing one of her daughters and her unborn child tried to kill the fetus two months earlier by drinking poison, according to police.
Fang Chi-Xue "had attempted to end her pregnancy by consuming a toxic substance," according to police report filed at Quincy District Court.
The Boston Globe reported Saturday that the woman's attempt on the life of her fetus prompted a February visit from the Department of Children and Families. The department determined the children could remain in the home because there was a second caretaker and an understanding the mother would get proper medical care, spokeswoman Alison Goodwin said in a statement.
On Thursday, Chi-Xue killed the unborn child and her 9-year-old daughter and tried to strangle her 14-year-old daughter, who fought her off at the family home in Quincy, just south of Boston, authorities said.
Goodwin told the Globe the department is investigating its handling of the case and "working to support the family." She declined further comment, citing the criminal investigation.
Chi-Xue's husband discovered his dead daughter and his wife on the floor, alive but bleeding from cuts to her wrists, after his 14-year-old daughter called him at work Thursday.
The girl told police her mother, who was 7 1/2 months pregnant, believed her husband fathered a child with a mistress and feared her husband would leave her and take their children, according to the police report.
The 9-year-old girl, Wen Xue, suffered stab wounds to her wrists, and authorities were also investigating whether she was poisoned.
A police report indicated the woman's stomach had a puncture wound, and authorities concluded she'd stabbed herself to kill her unborn baby. But the woman's court-appointed lawyer, Randy Gioia, said Friday that Chi-Xue had no stab wounds to her stomach and that he did not know what killed the fetus.
Chi-Xue, 38, faces charges including first degree murder and assault with intent to murder. She could face a second murder charge if the medical examiner determines the unborn child could have survived outside the womb. She's scheduled for arraignment May 6.
At a court proceeding at the hospital, Quincy District Court Judge Diane Moriarty ordered Chi-Xue to undergo a 20-day mental competency exam at Worcester State Hospital.
"She's been crying, just staring up into space with a blank look," Gioia said afterward. "It's just a sad, an extremely sad event."