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ATHENS, TEXAS: A Texas mother has been taken into police custody after admitting to stabbing her 4-year-old son to death in front of her own mother, Mary Johnson. Monica Nicole Figueroa was arrested on Monday March 13 and charged with one count of aggravated murder of a person under the age of 10. Figueroa was arrested for killing her son Grayson Hurt in their family home.
On Monday, officers from the Athens, Texas Police Department responded to a call around 6:41 a.m. from Johnson requesting a wellness check at the Figueroa residence in the 300 block of Mitchell Street, according to a Press release. The emergency dispatcher was told Johnson feared Figueroa had harmed his grandson, according to the Law and Crime report.
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How was Hurt killed?
After first responders arrived on the scene with emergency medical personnel, they found Figueroa before entering the house. Hurt’s body was discovered “partially covered with a blanket” and was placed inside the door, according to the press release. Authorities immediately requested the assistance of the Henderson County Crimes Against Children Task Force with the investigation and obtained a search warrant for the home on Mitchell Street.
Police conducted a preliminary investigation and determined that Hurt was killed by his mother who used a “stabbing weapon” to stab him. Currently, an autopsy is to be performed in Dallas by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science. According to police, Figueroa admitted to killing Hurt shortly after his arrest.
What was Figueroa’s motive behind the murder of his son?
Botie Hillhouse, the Henderson County Sheriff, said, “She didn’t really give any motive or reason,” CBS 19 reported. He added that the alleged killer’s mother explained to detectives that on Sunday, March 12, she had seen Figueroa holding a knife and cutting a rolled up blanket. Sheriff Hillhouse said: “Johnson heard the child screaming before he observed Figueroa cut the blanket, then the screaming stopped”, and added: “Figueroa threatened Johnson and ordered him to leave, which she did.”
Johnson reportedly contacted authorities the next morning and informed them that she had called 911 when she discovered her grandson was dead. Child Protective Services, the Texas Rangers and the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office are the agencies assisting with the ongoing investigation into the 4-year-old boy’s murder. “It’s still a very fluid investigation, there are still a lot of moving parts, [we’ve] still a lot of pieces of the puzzle to put together, but that’s pretty much where we are right now,” the sheriff said.
Figueroa, who is awaiting arraignment, is currently being held without bond in Henderson County Jail with her mother Johnson who was also arrested on child endangerment charges and being held on $250,000 bond, according to CBS 19. Figueroa lost custody of her undetermined number of other children and Hurt was her only child at her residence.