The mother of a 12-year-old girl accused of fatally stabbing her nine-year-old brother has opened up about the tragic incident that unfolded in their home.
April Lyda, from Oklahoma, believes her daughter may have been experiencing a ‘manic episode’ when the attack occurred, shedding light on warning signs that had appeared in the weeks leading up to the tragedy on January 5.
According to Mirror, the young victim, Zander, 9, was immediately rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery but tragically succumbed to his injuries.
Meanwhile, his sister was apprehended by authorities at their Tulsa residence.
While the exact motive behind the stabbing remains unclear, Lyda revealed that her daughter had exhibited concerning behaviours in the weeks preceding the incident.
Lyda disclosed in an interview with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo: ‘All I know is she was having thoughts about stabbing him two weeks prior.
‘She reached out to a few of her friends and told them, and unfortunately, they were maybe afraid to tell their parents or me… I had no idea she was having those thoughts.’
According to Lyda, the changes in her daughter’s behaviour could be attributed to her medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The girl had been taking the medication for several years but had stopped at some point before her brother’s death.
She had recently resumed taking the medication before discontinuing it again. However, it is not confirmed whether this had any affect on her behaviour.
Expressing the deep bond between the siblings, Lyda emphasised: ‘They’ve always been close. They did yoga together almost every night. She loved him, and he loved her. She has no idea why she did it. She’s heartbroken.’
Lyda revealed that her daughter’s behaviour had taken a drastic turn in the weeks preceding the tragedy.
‘She had begun to go to her room for hours, which wasn’t normal for her,’ she shared.
‘She would just want her own space the last few weeks. So something was going on with her, but I just took it as normal teenage behaviour, she’s 12.’
The distraught mother mentioned that her daughter had engaged in self-harm the night before the incident, which had only occurred once before.
While Lyda attributes the medication change as a potential factor, a licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Darcy Sterling, expressed skepticism that the medicine alone could be solely responsible.
‘I have never heard of a situation where a child just inadvertently does something like this (with) zero warning signs,’ Dr. Sterling said.
‘The meds are not going to make somebody homicidal like that.’
Body camera footage from the crime scene captured the 12-year-old girl in tears as police responded to the family’s home.
While her mother was asleep, she allegedly committed the act. In a haunting video, the girl can be heard apologising to her mother, saying: ‘I’m so sorry, mamma. I don’t know what happened.’
Following her arrest, the girl spoke openly about the incident to an officer while inside a police car. Expressing remorse, she said, ‘Are the handcuffs necessary? I’m a good child. I ruined my life. I ruined my whole future.’
Currently, no charges have been filed against the girl due to her age, according to her mum.
The Tulsa District Attorney’s Office has refrained from providing details about the case.