The mother of a 9-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl who were fatally stabbed more than 200 times each inside their suburban Chicago home was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder, authorities said.
Tonya Vasilev, 34 -- a heavy bandage covering her left wrist -- appeared in court Friday afternoon and answered the judge's questions in a soft, shaking voice. The judge appointed a public defender to represent her and ordered her held without bail.
Investigators believe she was at home Wednesday night when Christian and Gracie Vasilev were killed. The children's father and a friend who had been living with the family discovered the bloody scene when they arrived home that evening.
Police found the boy lying just inside the front door and carried him outside, where they tried in vain to resuscitate him, said Hoffman Estates Police Lt. Rich Russo.
The little girl and the children's mother were both upstairs. The girl was dead, and her mother had what appeared to be minor cuts on her hands. Police recovered several knives believed to have been used to kill the children.
"It really doesn't get much worse than this," said Russo, who would not discuss a possible motive for the killings.
The autopsies showed that both children tried to fight off their attacker, he said.
The stabbings came five years after the couple's 3-month-old daughter died in a fire at an Elk Grove Village town house where the family then lived. The cause of the 2000 fire remains undetermined, but foul play was never suspected, said Larry Hammar, deputy chief of the Elk Grove Village Police.
Hammar said his department will investigate that fire again. The mother was home at the time of the blaze.
Village police said at the time that Tonya Vasilev left the baby in a carrier in the laundry room while she went to check on another of her children. She noticed smoke coming from the window a short time later. source