One child dead, another critical; Irving mom in custody



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Posted on July 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 20 at 9:27 AM

Children attacked

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IRVING — Police said they have a mother in custody suspected of strangling her young son and choking her daughter, reportedly using some kind of wire.

Saiqa Akhter, 30, called 911 just after 5:00 p.m. Monday saying she had harmed her children in the apartment her family recently rented.

Neither neighbors nor detectives can quite grasp what she is alleged to have done in unit 2106 at the Wind Tree Apartments in the 330-block of Esters Road.

"We do take on some pretty tough situations; this is going to be one of the tougher ones," said Irving police spokesman Officer David Tull.

Officer David Tull, police spokesman, said Saiqa Akhter called 911 minutes after 5 o'clock. "She said she had done something terrible to her two children," he said. "Officers arrived and they did find two children in extreme distress."

Both children had been choked with wire in the second floor apartment, investigators said.

Paramedics rushed Zain Akhter, 5, to Baylor Medical Center at Irving. Resuscitation attempts failed, and he died.

His little sister, Faryaal Akhter, 2, was still alive in critical condition Monday night at Children's Medical Center Dallas.

"I didn't see no blood on neither the kids nor the mom," said one neighbor.

Police sequestered the children's father, who arrived minutes after first responders did, trying to learn what might have led his wife to hurt their children — just weeks after the family moved in to the Irving apartment complex.

Saiqa Akhter was removed from the premises and taken away in a squad car. Police are calling it a capital murder investigation.

Relatives said the Akhter family was originally from Pakistan and have lived in North Texas for a while. They attended a wedding in the Houston area last weekend and no one saw anything that raised concerns about the safety of their children.

Neighbors said the Akhters had lived at the Irving apartment complex for less than a month.

Police cordoned off two buildings at the apartments during their investigation, which wrapped up shortly before 10 p.m.