A California woman, aged 34, has been apprehended on suspicion of fatally stabbing her 4-year-old daughter in their apartment, leaving the child’s body to be discovered by her father. The woman, identified as Mina Nazari, was arrested over the weekend and faces multiple felony charges, including murder with a dangerous weapon and child abuse resulting in death, in connection to the death of her daughter, Sana Akram, according to court documents.
The charges against Nazari suggest that prosecutors believe the fatal stabbing was premeditated. The criminal complaint alleges that Nazari “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously and with malice aforethought” killed her daughter.
The Modesto Police Department responded to an emergency call about a possible assault at the Crown Ridge Apartments on Scenic Drive around 12:48 p.m. on Saturday. Upon arrival, first responders discovered the child deceased. Another child was found in the apartment, unharmed.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that Nazari is also accused of attempting to murder her 10-year-old son. She faces additional charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and allowing a child to suffer under circumstances likely to cause significant bodily harm.
Local CBS affiliate KOVR reported that the victim’s father, Fahim Akram, discovered his young daughter with fatal stab wounds and immediately dialed 911. As of Wednesday evening, investigators had not revealed any potential motive for the alleged murder.
Nazari, originally from Iran, came to the U.S. as a refugee, according to The Modesto Bee. Gulshan Yusufzai, the executive director of the Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation, told KOVR that individuals from South Asia are often reluctant to seek professional mental health services. A family friend disclosed to KOVR that Nazari had been battling depression and mental illness prior to Saturday’s tragic events.
Yusufzai emphasized the importance of mental health support, stating, “Many times, there’s a stigma associated with going out of the family asking for mental health supportive services. If she is depressed, if she is not taking care of herself, if you are able to see those things happening, she’s not sleeping well – these are all signs that she’s not doing well and she needs support.”
A GoFundMe page has been established by a family friend to raise funds for the victim’s funeral and memorial services. According to jail records, Nazari is currently being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in Stanislaus Superior Court for a bond hearing on Oct. 24.