Baby falls eight stories and lives as mom dies in Harlem suicide

It was a sight that would stay with anyone.

An adult holding a baby – both of them plummeting out of an 8th story apartment building window Wednesday afternoon on Bradhurst Avenue in Harlem.

Police confirm the 45-year old mother died upon impact.

Her 1-year old son – miraculously survived.

Eyewitness Steven Dominguez told Pix11, “I heard like a small scream, like a yell, and I noticed something falling from the sky.”

“The baby bounced off her chest onto the floor, face down and was crying. My mother tried to pick up the baby, but there was already a detective there, and it was his responsibility after that. Yeah, I wish I never witnessed that. But I wish I nobody ever has to witness that. It’s disturbing, and horrible,” Dominguez said.

Harlem bullding fall

The woman and child fell from a window in this Harlem building. The mother died, but the baby was taken to an area hospital in critical, but stable condition.

Neighbors told reporters the woman was a lawyer and married.

This man says he lives two doors down from the couple’s 8th floor apartment…and tells Pix11 he heard them arguing about three hours before police say she jumped out of the window, while holding her baby.

Christian Johnson told Pix11, “When I came home, they were arguing. And I actually stopped to listen, and I heard screaming, and the baby was crying. He just kept saying why wouldn’t you pick up the phone, why would you put that stress on me? Why wouldn’t you pick up the phone, why, why? He was screaming, why, why?”

Neighbor Regan Connolly said, “I’ve lived in New York city for 30-years and I’ve seen all sorts of tragic accidents, killings.” Connolly says this is one death she just won’t be able to forget.

A law enforcement source tells pix11 they are investigating this a suicide, and that when the mother jumped out of the window – holding her son…that she was *alone* inside the apartment. Her infant son, is recovering at harlem hospital.

125 comments

  • Devastated

    This is absolutely HORRIFYING!! It astounds me that this would actually happen. I am ubergald that the baby survived, he'll have to live with that for the rest of his life. Even if he may not remeber it later on in life, I'm sure he is traumatized! I don't think things like this should be happening! I've heard of some absolutely devastating new, and I'm only in 7th grade!! I wish things like this situation could stop, it upsets me SOSO much :'( ( sorry for any misspelllings :) )

  • angela

    @ truth.. You Are a dumb A**…. I Think you need to back up and take a look at life in general.. Not everything is as it seems.. Maybe she fell watering a plant. who knows? Nobody but her!!! Quit being so judgemental and show some empathy. The family of this poor baby and mother may be reading these coments.Could you imagine the thoughts running thru their heads as they read some bullshit like you wrote.. You should be ashamed of your self..Perfect example of no home training…

  • Tracie

    Police discovered a seven-page suicide note under a bed in the apartment Wachenheim shared with her husband. In the note, the 45-year-old Wachenheim said she recognized what she was about to do was "evil" but she was concerned about how her child was developing.

    Wachenheim went to law school at Columbia University, and her father was a state police spokesman before his death in 2011. She worked in state Supreme Court in Manhattan doing legal research for judges but was out on leave, court officials said.

  • Jessyca

    Maybe the baby was at the wndow and the mother tried to save the baby from falling. She did land on her back..seems like she was protecting the baby. Nobody knows but her and God.

  • Esco

    Why drag the baby into this?! Whatever the issue was the baby should have been left out of it. Thankfully the baby survived. Shame on her.

  • Online Detective

    She had probably informed her husband (or the man she was arguing with, according to the neighbour) of her intentions-that explains the suicide note and the prompt arrival of the detective at the scene. I suppose the man had called them when she failed to pick her calls- and he called her severally but failed to pick her calls. I don't see how this makes her uneducated or otherwise

  • Tiffany

    I find this to be very confusing reporting. They are stating that the boy is 10 months old, and that he is one year old. Although not a huge difference…it's a difference.

    Not to mention publishing this picture with this poor woman laying under the white sheet.

    Shame on you PIX11.

  • Denise

    I think the strange thing is that she didn't toss the baby out, but held him to her chest………..i.e. what a protective parent would do……in the midst of trying to kill herself and him too…………sad, sad situation.

  • Tamela

    I live a couple of blocks away from this building. There's a police station just an avenue away on the same block. Also, there are often cops around Jackie Robinson park which is right across the street. So I think it's reasonable a detective could have gotten there very quickly.

    In response to poster, truth. I think people hear "Harlem" and immediately think low income. But this isn't the case anymore.. This area is really nice and relatively safe. There are a lot of new luxury condos and a Starbucks and NYC Sportsclub gym, right up the street on 145th. Harlem in general is still patchy as far as being nice and safe, but this is a
    nice patch.

  • Naomi

    Postpartum illness (whether depression or psychosis) actually turns the usual suicide risk factors on their head. Research in the UK has found that more mothers from educated, high-earning backgrounds commit suicide during the first postnatal year than at any other time in life. Mental illness after childbirth is no respecter of wealth, status or background: it can happen to anyone. Why do more mothers from higher socio-economic groups commit suicide then? Partly because of the stigma so amply illustrated by our dear truth: women are ashamed of struggling with mental health problems because they appear to 'have it all' – the child, the great job, the husband. Please don't troll me back truth, just try and have some compassion and educate yourself about the real reasons women commit suicide after childbirth.

  • Steve

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  • George

    @michelle, u r so right. How was the detective there on the scene as the mother was falling out of the window with the child? I tend to think that the husband was possibly a police detective himself, bc they specified that woman was a lawyer and never specified what the husbands occupation was. Tends to make one who anylizes this story scrutinize it

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