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Hi,Thought your paper might be interested in this article, that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

St. Paul mother arrested in connection with death of childCurt Brown, Star Tribune Published August 5, 2003 HOMI05 St. Paul police have arrested a 38-year-old university professor on suspicion of fatally slitting her infant daughter’s throat Monday morning while visiting at her mother’s house in the Desnoyer Park neighborhood.

Authorities found 6-month-old Raya Donagi bleeding and unconscious after her grandmother called 911 about 9 a.m.

Relatives told police that the girl’s mother, Mine A. Ener, “had inflicted the fatal injuries to the infant,” police Sgt. Janet Dunnom said.

Ener is a professor of Middle Eastern history and Islamic civilization at Villanova University in Philadelphia, according to the school’s Web site. She is a published author on Mideast issues and has done scholarly reviews of several books. She also is director of Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.

Mine Ener Raya was pronounced dead at the scene, a one-story gray house in the 500 block of Desnoyer Av.

“Paramedics came tearing out of the house with a very limp baby,” said a neighbor, who requested anonymity. “They were running as fast as they could to the ambulance. But I knew something horrible had happened when I saw the firefighters crying.”

The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy on the infant, who was born Feb. 1. The results could be released today, the Associated Press reported.

Police say Ener confessed to the killing, but prosecutors had not charged her with a crime, though charges could come as early as today.

Ener told police that she suffered from postpartum depression and was on medication. She also said the child had suffered from some physical ailments – at one point, the child was nourished with a feeding tube – and she just wanted to give the baby some relief.

“She felt the baby was suffering,” said police Sgt. Bruce Wynkoop.

Police said Ener finished feeding Raya in a family room about 9 a.m. She carried Raya to the bathroom, pausing in the kitchen to grab a large knife. She lay the child face-up on the floor, leaned over the girl and pressed the blade of the knife twice across her throat.

Seconds later, Ener appeared empty-handed before her own mother in their St. Paul home, police said.

“I think I killed the baby,” she said, according to police.

In an interview with police later Monday, Ener was very matter-of-fact as she talked about everything from the killing to her work as a professor. She showed little emotion.

“There were no tears,” Wynkoop said. “I asked, ‘Do you feel sorry you did this?’ and it was ‘Oh, yes, I do.’ “

Police Cmdr. Nancy DiPerna said investigators recovered a knife that was allegedly used to cut the girl’s neck.

DiPerna said that Ener had been living in Pennsylvania recently with her daughter, but neighbor Bob Bendel said she grew up in the house where Raya died, on St. Paul’s western edge near the Mississippi River.

A 1986 graduate of Macalester College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, political science and international studies, Ener earned a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan in 1996. During her graduate work at Michigan, she spent one year studying at the American University in Cairo. Her interest in the Middle East is due in part to her Turkish roots; her father is a native of Turkey.

Her research has involved using archival resources to analyze poor relief efforts in the Middle East — particularly in Egypt and Turkey — during the 19th and 20th centuries. She is among the first scholars to explore this field of inquiry, according to a 1999 Villanova graduate newsletter.

“I find everything that I research to be interesting and exciting,” she said in the newsletter.

Ener does not have a criminal record in St. Paul. No police calls had been reported to the St. Paul house for at least three years.

Raya’s death is the second homicide involving a young child in St. Paul this summer. Last month, Naomi Gaines, 24, of St. Paul was charged with intentional second-degree murder and attempted intentional second-degree murder after she threw her twin infant boys off a bridge into the Mississippi River and then jumped herself. Onlookers pulled her and one of the boys to safety, but the other boy drowned.

Gaines was committed last week to the state security hospital for 60 days to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.