New Jersey mother accused of drowning her toddlers in the bath

The children aged one and three years old were pronounced dead at the scene


Naomi Elkins (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

A mother in New Jersey has been charged with killing her two young daughters by drowning them in the bath.

Naomi Elkins, 27, was arrested after police received a report shortly before 5pm on Tuesday of two children in cardiac arrest at their home on Shenandoah Drive, in Lakewood.

The New Jersey town is home to a large Orthodox Jewish community, and the world's largest yeshiva outside of Israel, the Beth Medrash Govoha.

The children, aged one and three years old, had been drowned in the bathtub, and the younger girl had also been stabbed, the prosecutor’s office said.

Officers arrived to find emergency responders from volunteer Jewish ambulance programme Hatzolah Medical Services giving lifesaving aid, but both children were pronounced dead at the scene.

Charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon, Elkins is said to have been taken into custody “without incident”. She appeared before Judge Scott Basen who set a date of 1 July for her first court appearance. Elkins said few words in response to the judge, and answered “yeah” to his question of whether she understood the charges against her.

One unnamed woman told CBS News: “Everyone is visibly shaken. I just don't understand how somebody could do this to a one and three-year-old. This is a very united community. I can't imagine how the neighbours are feeling and how other people are doing.”

Locals said that Elkins’ husband was out of town when the tragedy took place.

A children’s tricycle and swing set were seen in the yard outside the house where the toddlers were found. According to records, Elkins has a masters degree.

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