Still no motive in child's stabbing death - FOX 13 News

Still no motive in child's stabbing death

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

The mother accused of stabbing her four-year-old son to death said nothing when questioned by investigators after the murder.

St. Petersburg Police arrested Tasha Trotter, 40, charging her with the first-degree murder of her son, Joseph Artus.

Detectives have not determined a motive yet but aren't ruling out Trotter's mental stability.

Her mother, Carolyn Trotter, told investigators her daughter has a history of mental illness and has been in and out of treatment throughout her life.

Neighbors echoed what Trotter said about her daughter.

The child had been in the custody and living with his grandmother, Carolyn, for the past three-and-a-half years.

Trotter visited her son occasionally, and Friday started just like any other visit according to police.

But around 6pm, a neighbor flagged down officers who were directing traffic nearby and told them she heard screams coming from the apartment next door.

When officers arrived, Trotter was in the front yard, holding her son covered in blood.

Officers attempted CPR until an ambulance arrived to rush Artus to the hospital. He died there about 40 minutes later.

Her mother later told investigators her daughter had been acting strange leading up to the stabbing in which Trotter used a kitchen knife according to police.

Saturday, many neighbors passed by the apartment still in shock at what happened hours before.

District 7 Councilman Wengay "Newt" Newton stopped by to place stuffed animals at Trotter's doorstep denoting a makeshift memorial for a child whose life was inexplicably cut short.

Newton said he is working with the landlord of the housing complex to find Trotter another place to live if she'd like.

The councilman also said he is working with the family on the funeral arrangements for the young boy.

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