ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Rochester woman was arrested on five counts of attempted murder after police said she attempted to kill herself and her five children.
Rochester police first made contact with Farhiyo Mohamed Abdullahi, 32, and her family on Oct. 2. Abdullahi's family called police over an incident the day before when she locked her five children in a car for a few hours, Rochester Police Lt. Mike Sadauskis said. Abdullahi's family did not know the extent or severity of the incident. Police learned how serious it was about a week later after interviewing the five children.
In addition to calling police, the family called child protective services, Sadauskis said. The five children are 11, 10, 9, 7 and 4 years old.
Police visited Abdullahi's residence in the 200 block of First Street Northeast around 7 p.m. on Oct. 2. Officers spoke with her. While she expressed that she was a little depressed, officers felt there was not enough cause to take her for a mental health evaluation, Sadauskis said.
Officers left Abdullahi's apartment but were still in the building when a neighbor ran to tell them a fight was occurring in Abdullahi's apartment. Officers returned and found the Abdullahi's 24-year-old sister on top of her in an attempt to prevent being hit.
Abdullahi was arrested and taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys for evaluation, Sadauskis said. For the fight with her sister, she was charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, domestic assault fear and domestic assault inflict bodily harm. Abdullahi was held at the hospital.
A day after the fight, social services contacted Rochester police over concerns that the car incident might have been potentially serious and requested that police not only take the children into protective custody but that they be interviewed to determine what had occurred.
Officers interviewed the children on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and learned that Abdullahi had put all of her children in a car that was parked in a closed garage and turned on the car. Sadauskis said the windows of the car were closed and a hose was running from the exhaust pipe to a window.
"Some of the kids knew potentially they could die," Sadauskis said.
After about two hours, the oldest child reported that they vomited. At that point, Abdullahi opened the car doors, took the children out of the car and punched the eldest two times in the face, Sadauskis said.
Officers went to the hospital to interview Abdullahi. She allegedly admitted the incident occurred but minimized its seriousness. Evidence on scene corroborated the children's account of the incident, Sadauskis said. Abdullahi was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after being released from the hospital.
Charges were not filed as of Thursday morning, but Abdullahi was listed in custody at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center on five counts of first-degree premeditated murder. She is expected to be arraigned Friday morning.