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Baby Dies in Texas After Mother Reports Cutting off Arms

By Lisa Falkenberg Associated Press Writer, Nov 22, 2004

PLANO, Texas (AP) - A woman with a history of postpartum depression cut off the arms of her baby daughter Monday, then called 911 and waited calmly until police arrived, authorities said.

"She wasn't trying to hide," police spokesman Carl Duke said.

Dena Schlosser, 35, was charged with murder after the girl died at a hospital in Plano, a Dallas suburb. Child-protection authorities said the mother had shown signs of postpartum depression in the past, but there had been no signs of violence.

Authorities said when they arrived at the family's apartment, they found the nearly 11-month-old baby in a bedroom with her arms severed. Schlosser, covered in blood, was sitting in her living room.

It was not immediately clear what Schlosser used to sever the baby's arms, police said.

Schlosser lived at the apartment with other family members, including her two older daughters. The girls, ages 6 and 9, were at school and their father was at work when police arrived, Duke said.

Texas Child Protective Services was called to the home in January after Schlosser was seen running down the street from her apartment, with one of her daughters, then 5, bicycling after her, authorities said. When police and CPS arrived, the child told them her mother had left her 6-day-old baby sister alone in the apartment.

Schlosser appeared at the time to be suffering from postpartum depression and seemed to be having a psychotic episode, said Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokeswoman.

Schlosser was hospitalized for a few days. Her other two daughters were released to their father, who told authorities Schlosser had been acting strangely since the birth of the third child.

Once she was released from the hospital, Schlosser agreed to seek counseling and see a psychiatrist, Gonzales said. Caseworkers continued to visit the family through the spring and summer, and the case was closed Aug. 9.

"There were never any indications of violence with this family," Gonzales said. "The children had always been healthy, happy and cared for."

Gonzales said CPS was interviewing Schlosser's other children and would talk to the father before deciding whether to remove the children from the home.

No one answered the door Monday night at the family's apartment.