Cannibalized Baby's Dad Wants Mom Executed

The father of a newborn baby who authorities say was mutilated, killed and cannibalized by his mother said Tuesday he wants to see her executed.

Scott W. Buchholz told The Associated Press that Otty Sanchez, the mother of 3 ½-week-old Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez, seemed fine in the days before the killing, even though they argued.

"She was a sweet person, and I still love her, but she needs to pay the ultimate price for what she has done," he told the San Antonio Express-News.

Sanchez, 33, is charged with capital murder in the baby's death and could face the death penalty.

She was released from a local hospital Tuesday, where she was treated for self-inflicted stab wounds and moved to the Bexar County Jail, where she was held on $1 million bail.

Sanchez's relatives told the Express-News that she had been diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, which can cause delusional thoughts and hallucinations.

When authorities found the infant's body Sunday, Sanchez told officers the devil made her kill, mutilate and eat parts of her only child, police said.

Buchholz said Sanchez had postpartum depression and told him a week before the slaying that she was schizophrenic, but she didn't appear unstable.

"She killed my son. She should burn in hell," Buchholz said.

Buchholz, who is himself schizophrenic and takes six anti-psychotic and anti-convulsive medications, said his girlfriend had been going to regular counseling sessions about the birth of their child but refused to take prescription medication for her depression.

But she seemed fine, he said.

"She seemed like a very caring, loving mother," he said. "She held him, she breast-fed him. She did everything for him that was nice."

Otty Sanchez's aunt, Gloria Sanchez, told The Associated Press that her niece had been "in and out" of a psychiatric ward, and that the hospital called several months ago to check up on her.

Sanchez and Buchholz lived together during the pregnancy and the first two weeks after their son was born, he said. She moved out of the couple's shared home July 20.

On Saturday, she showed up to see Buchholz at his parents' house. She became agitated when he told her he needed a copy of the baby's birth certificate and Social Security card, Buchholz said.

Sanchez ran out of the home with her son in a car seat, threw the car seat into the front passenger seat of her car and sped away without buckling him in, the Express-News reported. She left behind a diaper bag, her purse and her medication.

Buchholz's mother called 911, and a sheriff's deputy investigated the incident as a disturbance, according to court records.

The deputy took a report but could do little else, said Bexar County Sheriff Chief Deputy Dale Bennett.

"If this guy had given us an indication that she had postpartum depression, or mental defects she was suffering from, we may have addressed it differently," he said.

Buchholz said he may have told the deputy Sanchez was depressed, but that he wasn't sure.

Most new mothers suffer from postpartum blues as hormones shift after a pregnancy and they're fatigued handling a new baby. But as many as one-fifth suffer from the more serious postpartum depression, which includes symptoms like despair and failing to eat or sleep.

Postpartum psychosis is far rarer, affecting only about one woman in 1,000. Women with postpartum psychosis have delusions, frequently involving religious symbols and a desire to harm their newborn, said Richard Pesikoff, a psychiatry professor at the Baylor College of Medicine.

He testified in the second trial of Andrea Yates, the high-profile case of a Houston-area mother found not guilty by reason of insanity after drowning her five children. Similar to Sanchez's claim that the devil told her to kill her son, Yates told authorities Satan was inside of her and she was trying to save her children.

"The most common part of postpartum psychosis is the delusional thinking," said Pesikoff. "Often but not always, it encompasses some type of religious thought. God is telling you to do something. The devil is telling you to do something."

Women with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are at particularly high risk for developing postpartum psychosis.

For women with schizophrenia who are not taking medication, the risk of developing psychosis is 50 percent or higher, said Lucy Puryear, another psychiatrist who was involved in the Yates case.

If a mother is diagnosed with psychosis, she should immediately be hospitalized and separated from the child, Puryear said.

Some psychiatrists will tell women with schizophrenia not to have children because of the high risks, but she said with medication and treatment, "it's possible to have a child and have a good outcome."

Other similar cases -- including that of Yates and Dena Schlosser, a Plano woman who said she sliced off her baby's arms because she wanted to give the baby to God -- have ended with juries finding the women not guilty by reason of insanity.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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