A 26-year-old St. Cloud woman is accused of stabbing her 3-month-old son, wrapping him in a plastic garbage bag and putting him in a dumpster outside her apartment building.
Fardoussa O. Abdillahi was charged Tuesday in Stearns County District Court with one felony count of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation.
The death marks St. Cloud's fifth homicide this year, setting a record for the city of 69,000.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to an apartment building in the 2000 block of Maine Prairie Road at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday after a man called 911 to report a baby was missing and the mother stated "she had thrown the baby in the dumpster."
The child, born Aug. 5, lived in the apartment with Abdillahi. Adult witnesses on the scene told police they arrived at the residence after a call from Abdillahi's mother expressing concern for Abdillahi and her son based on comments Abdillahi had made.
Officers found the child's body in the dumpster, along with multiple knives and bedding.
Abdillahi told investigators she was experiencing headaches and feelings of worry and fear after the child was born, and was upset the father was "denying the child was his," the complaint states. She told police the child was crying prior to her stabbing him, according to the complaint, and "demonstrated that she cut [the child] across the throat."
The preliminary summary based on an examination by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office identified sharp-force injuries to the child's neck and ruled the manner of death a homicide.
St. Cloud sees an average of about two homicides per year, according to Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton. After reviewing more than three decades of data, Oxton said the previous high-water mark was four homicides in 2015.
St. Cloud saw a spike in violent crimes in 2020 similar to the rest of the state, though the trend line for violent crime in the city has decreased over the past 30 years, Oxton said at a city council presentation in October.
Last year, part 1 crimes — which include aggravated assaults, robberies and burglaries, rapes, arsons, theft and motor vehicle theft — increased year-over-year by 19% in St. Cloud, according to data from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; thefts made up the majority of the increase, while aggravated assaults and rapes were down year-over-year. The city saw two homicides in both 2019 and 2020.
So far this year, based on calls for service, motor vehicle thefts, domestic assaults and behavioral health calls are up over 2020.
The city's first homicide of 2021 was 36-year-old Justin A. Berge, who was stabbed to death in an alley in April. St. Cloud resident Lindsay R. Shelltrack-Miller, 41, was charged with one felony count of second-degree murder. She waived a jury trial and is awaiting a decision in the bench trial that wrapped up at the end of October. If convicted, she could face up to 40 years in prison.
The second and third homicides happened on two consecutive days in early June: 28-year-old Janesa L. Harris of St. Cloud was shot to death in an apartment in the 1400 block of 12th Avenue N. on June 2. On the morning of June 3, police found 25-year-old Keisa M. Lange of Litchfield, Minn., in a ditch in the 4300 block of Cooper Avenue S. Lange had been shot in the head and left beside the secluded road.
The investigation into Harris' death is ongoing, Oxton said Tuesday.
In July, a grand jury indicted four St. Cloud residents in Lange's death: Kenneth J. Carter, 26; DeAntae D. Davis, 23; Angela R. Jones, 33; and Alicia M. Lewis, 36. All four have court hearings scheduled in the next two months.
And St. Cloud State professor Ed Ward was killed on Father's Day. Jason R. Beckman, 45, shot the 68-year-old Ward in the chest and abdomen after Beckman crashed a stolen vehicle into Ward's yard on the south side of St. Cloud. In October, Beckman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Adbillahi made her first court appearance Tuesday, where Stearns County Judge Shan Wang set bail at $2 million unconditionally or $1 million with conditions. Her next court appearance is Dec. 13.