A mother is accused of killing her 5-year-old son by violently hitting his head against the floor “for causing a mess”.
The 25-year-old, identified only as Elena, is accused of attacking her son Artem until he stopped breathing during the incident at their home in the village of Sokolivka, central Ukraine.
The alleged assault reportedly occurred in front of the boy’s sister Diana, six, last week.
Elena was reportedly later found holding the dead body of her son in her arms outside her house.
Vira Asaulenko, the mayor of the village, told local media: “We came to check on the family after the kids did not come to the kindergarten and school.
“She was holding Artem in her arms. The boy was wrapped into a blanket.
“I touched his hand. It was icy cold.
“Diana was sitting on the ground. She did not say a word and was staring into nothingness without blinking.”
Paramedics announced the boy was already dead after arriving at the scene several minutes later.
Oleksandr Korneichik, a paramedic who received the call said: “There was nothing we could do.
“The child had horrific bruises all over his head and marks of suffocation on his neck.”
Forensic examinations showed Artem had died from severe head injuries.
Later Diana told the police what happened.
Valentyn Savchuk, the chief of the local police said: “The mother discovered a mess in the house and blamed the boy for it.
“She made him lie on the floor, sat on the top of him and hit his head against the floor multiple times.”
The woman stopped the brutal assault only after the boy “stopped breathing”, according to local media.
Police have launched a criminal case for murder against Elena, who is to be sent for mental examinations.
According to neighbours, the mum developed aggressive behaviour towards others after giving birth to her children.
Katerina Godovanyuk, a next-door woman said: “She was treated in a mental hospital after each delivery.”
Reports say Elena was not officially recognised as mentally ill and was allowed to raise her kids.
It is understood village authorities were able to preserve her parental rights, believing “that it would be better for children to live with her than in an orphanage”.