Virginia Mom Killed Baby In Church For Unbelievable Reason

A Virginia mom has admitted to smothering her young infant to death, and the reason for this unthinkable crime is heartbreaking. The Virginian Pilot reports that 38-year-old Keisha Holmes has been in a state mental hospital for the past two years, but now details behind what happened to her child have been revealed — along with her recent plea of “guilty” to what she had done.

The horrifying incident took place in 2013 in the Virginia city of Portsmouth. Virginia mom Keisha Holmes was having suspicions that her fiancé, and father of her newborn, had been having a sexual relationship with her sister, with whom they had been living. Holmes confronted her baby’s father and her sister, but they both denied having an affair behind her back. However, the sister made the decision to kick Keisha out of her home. Reports aren’t clear on whether or not the baby’s father was kicked out of the home. Their denial didn’t appear to calm the Virginia mom’s suspicions because she ended up at a church with her 6-week-old son.

The Dreamin’ Demon reported in 2013 that Keisha Holmes used a pillow to smother her 6-week-old son while sitting in that very church. After she killed her baby, she took him back to their home and put him in his crib. She then proceeded to call the police on herself. She also called other people and left messages alluding to the fact that she had murdered her baby. At the time of the 2013 report, it wasn’t known publicly yet that the Virginia mom indeed had a very specific motive behind the killing of the newborn child. She was charged with first-degree murder, but her mental state has rendered her unable to stand trial for the past handful of years. That changed this week when she finally entered a guilty plea, acknowledging her actions.

It’s been revealed through recent reports that Keisha Holmes became pregnant while in a relationship she had intended to become a marriage. However, she felt that she was not ready to become a mother and had wanted to seek an abortion. The baby’s father was against this, however, and insisted that she go through with the pregnancy. They were to be married and were starting a family. This all started to fall apart when Keisha began suspecting that the baby’s father was sleeping with her sister. As previously stated, both parties have denied having any kind of inappropriate relationship behind the new mother’s back. No reports have clarified on whether or not these two people were actually having an affair or if Keisha’s suspicions were based on distrust and/or delusion.

There may be questions that remain unanswered indefinitely in this Virginia case, but it is still very likely that the 6-week-old victim may get the justice he deserves. One question that remains has surrounded the scene of the child’s murder. Why did Virginia mom Keisha Holmes take her newborn to a church to suffocate him with a pillow? She specifically chose the church — of which she was not a regular attendee — and then returned her infant to his crib back at the home she resided in with her fiancé and sister. Hopefully, at least some kind of answers come from the near-closure of this case.

Janishcia Cottingham smothered her baby, and was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. Photo via Hamilton Co. Jail
Janishcia Cottingham smothered her baby, and was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. Photo via Hamilton Co. Jail

While this case comes to an end, it’s important to remember that incidents of children being murdered by their parents aren’t entirely uncommon. In fact, most abuse on children is done at the hands of their parents or guardians, and approximately 1,500 of those incidents end in death each year.

[Photo via Portsmouth Police (mugshot)]

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