Military Mom Tries to Drown Her Toddler After Being Told of Deployment
by Lisa Fogarty
A mom from Arizona who is in the Air Force has been charged with attempting to drown her 20-month-old daughter after she was told she was going to be deployed to Turkey but couldn't take her child with her.
Phoeteama Janiece Neal, 28, who was stationed at Luke Air Force Base, got the announcement this week that she would be sent overseas on Aug. 31. She asked if she could take her daughter, but was denied her request and told by a judge that custody of her little girl would be given to the child's father.
Neal then reportedly asked her commander at the base if she could be spared from deployment because of her parenting duties. She says she was told the Air Force would "get back to her."
We'll never know whether this mom's request would have been honored because the next thing she did was too horrible to believe.
Neal reportedly called 911 and, crying, told the dispatcher: "I just drowned my baby. She's drowned."
When police arrived at her home, they say they found her holding the toddler, who was wet and fully clothed. First responders were able to resucitate the girl, but she is currently in extremely critical condition at a hospital and doctors say they think she has less than a 1 percent chance of survival.
Neal was arrested and charged with attempted murder. This poor little girl's dad is also in the military and is stationed at an Air Force base out of state.
This makes absolutely zero sense, though I understand logic doesn't come into play when people commit deplorable crimes. But still -- Neal obviously cared for her daughter, so much so that she asked if she could not be deployed to Turkey. We know she and her child's father were involved in some kind of custody battle, but we aren't sure of the details.
For now, let's just hope Neal's baby girl pulls through this horrific ordeal because she deserves a chance to live a long, healthy life.