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Two Small Children Killed, Two Adults Critically Injured In Apparent Murder-Suicide Attempt In South Shore

CHICAGO (CBS)-- A baby and a toddler are dead, after a mother attacked her family, and then jumped from an 11th floor window in the South Shore neighborhood on Thursday.

One 2-year-old boy – identified as Jontavious "John John" Newell – was found unresponsive in a bathtub, while police say the other – identified as 7-month-old Amir Newell - was thrown from that same window. As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, police said it was a difficult case for them.

UPDATE: Police on Friday confirmed that the 2-year-old is the child who fell from window and that the 7-month-old is the child that was found in the bathtub.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, family identified the boys' mother as Aleah Newell. She remained at the University of Chicago Medical Center Thursday night, along with a 70-year-old man who was said to be the woman's grandfather and whom she is also accused of stabbing.

Police said officers responded to a call of a person down at the Michigan Beach Apartments, near 72nd Street and South Shore Drive, around 1:45 a.m., and found Amir and his mother lying on the ground.

Both children were taken to Comer Children's Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

South Shore Children Killed
Jontavious (left) and Amir Newell were both found dead in South Shore on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (via Newell Family)

Police believe the 20-year-old mother jumped after throwing the boy.

"Caller says she heard a loud thump and went outside and saw a woman and infant on the ground," a dispatcher over police radio.

The woman was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. Meanwhile, police found a second crime scene upstairs.

The apartment was flooded, with the water having come from the bathtub. In that tub, investigators found Jontavious unresponsive.

Jontavious appeared to have been scalded. He was also suffering from cuts to his head.

They also found Aleah Newell's 70-year-old grandfather, identified by family as Cadell Walker. He'd been stabbed and was also taken to the U of C Medical Center in critical condition.

Family said Cadell Walker is expected to recover. Police said the older man told officers the woman had stabbed him.

Investigators were on the scene throughout the day Thursday.

Neighbors were left trying to process the gruesome details of the murders of two toddlers.

"Mothers, fathers are to protect their children regardless of what's happening. Sad to say, you can do whatever you want to yourself, but to an infant, a toddler? I wouldn't be able to do it," neighbor Blair Ware said.

Meanwhile, the Newell family has been through a lot. The family said Aleah Newell lost her brother to suicide two years ago.

Police said that without any witnesses or any video footage of the fall or moments leading up to it, piecing together what happened could take some time.

Chicago Police are expecting to learn more once the autopsies on the two boys have been completed.

If Aleah Newell survives, authorities are expecting to file charges.

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey contributed to this report.

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