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Crime

Yu Fen Wang charged with five counts of attempted murder after stabbing babies at New York nursery

Attack occurred at home apparently used as an unlicensed nursery for new mothers and their children

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 September, 2018, 10:15am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 September, 2018, 9:48pm

When Yu Fen Wang left for her job Thursday night, the day care worker seemed a bit down in the dumps – but hardly in a homicidal funk.

“Everything seemed normal with her,” her husband said Saturday through a translator outside their Queens home in New York.

“No red flags, no issues.”

His 52-year-old wife remained hospitalised Saturday under psychiatric watch as authorities charged her with five counts of attempted murder in connection with the horrifying stabbing spree at the sham Queens nursery where she worked.

Authorities say Wang grabbed a meat cleaver and knife around 3:45am Friday, carving a bloody path through a roomful of newborns in a three-storey home.

She slashed three of the infants, one colleague and a fifth victim before ending the gory assault with a failed suicide attempt.

All five victims, though still hospitalised Saturday, were expected to recover.

In addition to the stabbed babies, a nine-day-old girl suffered a small skull fracture during the chaos on the first floor of the Flushing residence reportedly used for “birth tourism”.

Chinese women would deliver their infants, with the new mothers using the newborns to gain leverage in obtaining American citizenship.

The babies, under US law, became American citizens at birth.

Officials discovered nine babies and 11 cots inside the building after arriving in the dead of night to find the bleeding, critically injured infants.

The fourth baby’s injury went undiagnosed until her mother brought the crying child to a hospital on Friday night, authorities said.

It was unclear if the baby was struck by Wang or injured in some other way during the violence at the Mei Xin Care facility.

“The lady had a problem in her head,” said a man living next-door to the day care operation.

“Why go for the babies?”

The tiny trio of stab victims were 12 days old, 31 days old and 33 days old, police said.

A day care colleague, age 63, was gashed in the left leg and arm and a 31-year-old man slashed on the leg and arm before Wang locked herself in the basement, authorities say.

The business was apparently operating without a license, with city and state child care agencies now investigating the Queens operation.

The Wangs lived about 2.5km (1.5 miles) from the day care where the carnage occurred. Wang remained at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens, where she was taken after police found her unconscious and bleeding from a slashed wrist in the basement.

Her first court appearance on the charges was pending, with sources indicating the arraignment may not occur until late this week.

Neighbours told reporters that the family, including a son and a daughter, moved to the area about a year ago from their home in China’s Fuzhou province.

The husband, who spoke after reporters agreed not to use his name, said he has yet to speak with his wife or hire a lawyer.

“I don’t know what I can do,” he said.