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Mom attempted to suffocate daughter, 4, at Rosehill cemetery: prosecutors

Mary Ryan / phofrom Chicago Police

Mary Ryan / photo from Chicago Police

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Updated: April 29, 2014 4:22PM

A mother drove her daughter to Rosehill Cemetery, tried to suffocate the 4-year-old with a plastic Aldi bag and then attempted to kill herself before changing her mind, Cook County prosecutors said.

After the little girl’s lips turned blue and she stopped struggling, Mary Ryan, 24, covered the child’s body with a blanket in the back seat of her car Monday morning, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said.

Ryan put the same bag over her own head but then decided she didn’t want to take her own life and proceeded to perform CPR on her daughter, Antonietti said.

Ryan told authorities that her efforts brought the child “back to life” in the back of the white Volvo station wagon, according to a police report.

Ryan, who wore black sweatpants and a pink sweatshirt in court Tuesday, sobbed when prosecutors described how the little girl shook her head, tried poking holes in the bag and kicked her legs in the air when she was allegedly being suffocated.

“Take a deep breath,” Judge Peggy Chiampas told Ryan.

Ryan took her daughter to Rosehill Cemetery after picking her up from school Monday, Antonietti said. That was shortly after 11 a.m., authorities said.

She drove around for a bit looking for an isolated spot where there were no people before she parked the car and approached her daughter who was sitting in the back seat, Antonietti said.

Ryan allegedly placed her hand on the child’s mouth as she held the bag on the girl’s head.

When Ryan decided she didn’t want to follow through with killing herself, she performed CPR on her daughter, drove out of the cemetery and flagged down a police officer who escorted her to the nearest hospital, Antonietti said.

Ryan allegedly told ER hospital staff that she tried to suffocate her daughter.

The child, who the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has since placed with her maternal grandmother, suffered an abrasion to her eye and complained about pain on the side of her neck, Antonietti said.

A few days before Monday’s incident, DCFS placed Ryan’s other child with that child’s biological father.

Ryan’s two children have different fathers, prosecutors said.

DCFS spokeswoman Veronica Resa said the agency had contact with Ryan within the last two months and confirmed where the children were placed. There was one unfounded report tied to Ryan and two pending reports, including the alleged suffocation, Resa said. Resa cited privacy laws when asked for more details.

Ryan is married and is a 2008 graduate of Taft High School, an assistant public defender said.

Chiampas ordered her held in lieu of $1 million bail Tuesday.

Ryan, of the 6100 block of North Hoyne Avenue, must also undergo a health evaluation and have no contact with her children should she post bond, the judge said.

“I don’t care what DCFS says, she is to have no contact,” Chiampas said.


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