Police think Washington mother accused of stabbing 3 small children may have been overwhelmed

A Washington state woman accused of stabbing her three small children may have been overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a 2-year-old toddler and 6-month-old twins while her soldier husband was frequently deployed, police said Monday.

Christina E. Booth, 29, was arrested early Sunday at her home on suspicion of attempted murder, said Lt. Jim Costa of the Police Department in Olympia, Washington's capital. Her children were stable after surgery at a hospital a half-hour away in Tacoma, he said.

Mary Bridge Children's Hospital isn't releasing information about the children's conditions because of federal privacy law. They have been placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services.

Detectives still have a lot to do, but in talking with the woman's husband and neighbors, they are getting a picture of a family in stress, Costa said.

Neighbors told investigators that Booth had a "bubbly" personality, but she had no break in dealing with her little ones.

"I'm sure there probably was frustration, friction in the household," Costa said. "A lot of dynamics pushed her over the brink."

Her husband was at home over the weekend and apparently downstairs while the children were stabbed upstairs, Costa said.

A crying woman called 911 at 1:17 a.m. Sunday and said her kids were crying and wouldn't stop, Costa said. She said she thought they needed medical attention.

A man came on the line a minute later and said the kids were bleeding from the neck and needed an ambulance, the lieutenant said.

The husband, Thomas Booth, was interviewed and released. He is not suspected of a crime, Costa said.

Christina Booth was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday in Thurston County Superior Court. No defense lawyer would be assigned until after the 3 p.m. hearing, said Michelle Wall with the prosecutor's office.

Thomas Booth is with the 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said Sgt. Michael Sword in the public affairs office. A message was left seeking comment from Thomas Booth.