Baby Survives Harlem's Mother's Suicide Plunge From New York Building Apartment Window

Baby Survives NY Mother’s Suspected Suicide Plunge From Apartment Window

A baby boy has survived an eighth-floor fall from a Harlem apartment after his mother strapped him to her chest and plunged to her death in an apparent suicide.

New York City police say Cynthia Wachenheim, 45, was found on the Harlem street with her son, Keston, still in her arms.

A responding police officer then took the baby, believed to be 10 months old, to Harlem Hospital Center. The baby is expected to survive and is reportedly critical but in a stable condition.

Police have said a window to the upscale The Sutton Co-op at the junction of 147th Street and Bradhurst Avenue was wide open and there were no signs of struggle inside. There were also no safety bars on the Manhattan apartment’s windows.

Wachenheim was clutching her son to her chest when her back hit the sidewalk below. After she died at the scene following her suicide, the baby bounced out of her arms and started crying.

In addition to several witness accounts that have emerged after the tragedy, a picture of Wachenheim’s background is also coalescing. She was a high school valedictorian in Albany and a Columbia Law graduate who had recently taken maternity leave from her $118,000-a-year job in the city court system.

She worked there for more than 15 years doing research for judges. She was also said to be an associate court attorney.

Yaa Dwamena, 32, a resident in the same building Wachenheim lived in for years said,”She was very nice, very friendly, very warm,” adding, “I wouldn’t have thought anything was wrong with her.They were a happy-looking family. I wouldn’t think anything like this would happen.”

The New York Post quotes a neighbor who said Wachenheim could be heard arguing with her husband, 48-year-old Hal Bacharach, at The Sutton co-op at around 1 pm. Bacharach was seen on surveillance video leaving the apartment building after the argument.

At around 3:25 pm, witnesses say they saw Wachenheim leap from her eighth-story apartment window with Keston in her arms. Wachenheim is believed to have been suffering from severe postpartum depression.

According to the New York Daily News, Wachenheim left a suicide note of several pages in which she detailed what she perceived as her failings as a mother.

A source told the paper: “The note said she was not happy and she talked about what she planned to do.”

New York City Police found a suicide note inside the home written by Wachenheim saying that what she was about to do was "evil"
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