PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A disabled 8-year-old girl is dead after a possible murder-suicide attempt. Her mother is in the hospital, facing criminal charges in the girl’s death.

Neighbors describe 30-year-old Veronica Cirella as attentive and loving to her 8-year-old daughter, Julie. But police say Saturday morning, both mother and daughter were discovered on the floor of their Plainview home unconscious by the girl’s grandmother. 

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Julie was dead. Her mother survived what police say may have been a suicide attempt. She was found with a cord around her neck.

“The grandchild could not be revived, however that child’s mother was brought to Nassau County Medical Center where we understand she is alive and conscious,” said Kevin Smith with Nassau County police.

The girl’s death came on the same day she was preparing to participate in a relative’s wedding as a flower girl. Her wheelchair had been decorated with flowers.

Relatives were seen rushing to the home to try to find out what happened.

The mother is now charged with second degree manslaughter, but police have offered no reason why. 

“It appears right now that we have an undetermined homicide,” said Smith. “We don’t know what caused the death of the 8-year-old child. There are no outward signs of violence or any trauma to that child. So it’s still very much under investigation.”

“That breaks my heart,” said neighbor Tricia Kane. “It’s shocking something like this would happen in this area or just in general.”

Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide attempt. Family members say Julie had cerebral palsy and moved around in a wheelchair.

Police say Cirella will be arraigned at her bedside.

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments (11)
  1. jtorres says:

    I can’t judge this mother – it is not easy to care for a disabled child: maybe she was overwhelmed and at her wit’s end and saw this as the only solution; Maybe the child died of natural causes and she was so overwhelmed with grief she tried to end her own life; Maybe it was an accident and the guilt consumed her. I’m not excusing what she did to herself or to her child, if in fact she did do anything. I’m just thinking we should wait to hear what she says and what the forensics show before we’re ready to burn her at the stake

  2. PAMELA LEWIS says:

    Such a beautiful child, senseless loss of life what type of stress was this mother going through to have these thoughts in her head. That must have been such a sorrowful wedding, no one could have enjoyed themselves knowing what happened earlier so many people hurt and crying on what was to be a happy day. May her beautiful soul REST IN PEACE. Her mother will have to live with what she has done for the rest of her life.

  3. EJMP says:

    The death may have been an accident, and the mother tried to kill herself because she couldn’t bear it.

  4. halley says:

    this is terrible. she lives around the block from me but i didn’t know who she was

  5. alanwolinsky says:

    I don’t feel sorry for the mother. I feel very bad for the daugher she killed

    1. madashellwitdamedia says:

      I know the family personally veronica lived for that little girl she is not a murder the media need to report the story verbatim and they not mentioned anything the family said im not one to judge because its not my place and if the family saw the mother as a threay necessary measures would hsve been taken to protect julie

      1. rf2064 says:

        Get some grammer lessons!!

  6. Cynical says:

    The defence will be that strangling yourself with an electrical cord is a highly inefficient & improbable form of suicide. Check out the father, who is barely mentioned.

    1. rf2064 says:

      The Father is in jail dummy!

  7. pugphan says:

    Now killing the unborn has become natural for many women, after all it is legal, so killing those lucky enough to make it out of the womb is the next step. I guess
    the defense would be “Its my child! So, I can do what ever I want with it.” God help us all! smokersodysseycom

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