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Baby Falls Eight Stories; Survives Mom Cynthia Wachenheim's Suicide Plunge

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 03:33 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A New York lawyer reportedly suffering from postpartum depression died Wednesday after she leapt out the window of an apartment building with her baby son in her arms in an apparent suicide attempt. The baby survived the eight-story fall when he bounced off his mother's body.

Cynthia Wachenheim, 45, and her son Keston, 10 months, were found on the street outside a West Harlem apartment building around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said. Wachenheim died instantly when she hit the sidewalk on her back, Keston bouncing off her chest. The baby was rushed to hospital where he is in critical but stable condition.

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Area resident Steven Dominguez, 18, was walking to the grocery store with his mother when he saw Wachenheim fall.

"I heard a scream like a yell. When I got closer, I saw the baby crying," Dominguez told FoxNews.com. "I was shocked. I couldn't believe it."

Police found a cocktail of anti-psychotic prescription medications in Wachenheim's apartment and a seven-page suicide note under her bed.

In the note, Wachenheim reportedly acknowledged what she was about to do was "evil" but wrote she was concerned with how Keston was developing. She also assumed blame for the child's undisclosed medical conditions.

Neighbors told the New York Post they heard Wachenheim and her husband arguing in the hours leading up to her jump. Surveillance footage shows her husband leaving the apartment about an hour before the victim's death.

Wachenheim went to Columbia Law School and her father was a state police spokesman before his death in 2011. She had been on maternity leave from her job at the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

"We are all deeply saddened about this tragic incident," state courts spokesman David Bookstaver told FoxNews.com. "Our thoughts are with Ms. Wachenheim's family."

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Related stories:

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Rutgers University Student Suicide is a Tragedy

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