COLTON, Calif. (FOX 11 / AP) - A Southern California woman who was once found not guilty by reason of insanity in the attempted murder of her own children was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of stabbing her daughter and two granddaughters, one fatally.
The Colton Police Department had been looking for Nicole Darrington-Clark, 43, since the Monday morning attack that left an 18-month-old granddaughter dead and critically injured her daughter and a 5-year-old granddaughter.
"Homicide suspect Darrington-Clark taken into custody this morning in San Bernardino. No longer looking for her or the vehicle," the Police Department posted on Twitter at dawn.
Investigators do not know the motive for the attack, which took place in an apartment where Clark, her daughter and granddaughters lived together, authorities said.
Neighbor Patty Williams told the newspaper the wounded woman had been "stabbed everywhere."
Another neighbor, Tim Hill, said she ran into his apartment seeking help after the attack. He said he ran upstairs to her apartment and saw the stabbed baby and found her sister in the closet, shaking.
When FOX 11's Hal Eisner tried to talk to her, all Michele Bell could say was,"I ain't never been around her. I ain't been around her like that." Bell is the sister-in-law of Nicole Clark. She was in grief breaking into tears repeatedly.
Tim Hill says he first realized something was wrong in the upstairs apartment when "I heard a scream and then I knew it wasn't the kids playing."
He says the kid's mom ran to him for help. He described her as "bloodied and hysterical."
"I said 'what happened?' She said, 'my mom grabbed me and started stabbing. Go get my kids. She's going to kill my kids. And, so at that point, her mother is coming down toward my apartment with a knife still in her hand…bloody knife…blood on her shirt and just pushed her back with all my strength and said, 'hey you're not coming into my apartment."
According to Hill, when she heard he was calling the police, the woman took off in her car.
"And, at that point, I ran upstairs to check on the kids cause she's hysterical saying 'go get my babies…go get my babies' and as soon as I walk in and I see the youngest one - 'Demony' face down on the sofa with multiple stab wounds in her back and looking lifeless."
The 18-month-old was dead. Hill said the 5-year old was in the closet hiding, shaking and terrified.
Police decided they couldn't wait for paramedics and took the girl to the hospital, Hill said.
A very different scene from yesterday around the apartment complex pool according to neighbor Patty Williams who said, "They was all at the pool yesterday, and I saw the lady and I would have never thought she would take that life like that cause she was just sitting at the pool like it was just a happy family. And for this lady to take the kids life like that, it's just pitiful."
Colton is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
Darrington Clark had previously pleaded guilty to stabbing her son and throwing her daughter out of a van while driving on the freeway in 2005.
But after the plea a judge ruled that she was not guilty of the two attempted murders by reason of insanity, local news media outlets reported in 2007. He sent her to a state mental hospital for 34 years to life, with progress reports required every six months.
Neither child was seriously injured.
It wasn't immediately clear when or why she was released from the mental hospital and whether the daughter in the 2005 attack is the same one critically injured Monday. Police did not immediately reply to a message seeking answers to those questions.
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