Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mom sought in son's death found at TIA

TAMPA — A Lakeland woman believed to be suffering from postpartum depression and accused of killing her 1-year-old son was apprehended Friday at Tampa International Airport, authorities said.

Officers searched garages at TIA after the Polk County Sheriff's Office notified them that Neha Patel, 32, had used her credit card at the economy garage Friday morning, according to TIA.

A parking employee spotted Patel's blue 2008 Toyota Sienna in the long-term garage just after 1 p.m., and officers found her inside the vehicle at 1:18 p.m., airport officials said. Polk County investigators came to the airport to question her, and she was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail.

Isham Patel died from blunt force trauma at the hands of his mother, Neha Patel, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Friday.

She has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder.

Patel's husband, Rasesh Patel, told authorities that his wife and son went missing Thursday while he was at work. At one point, Patel's credit card was traced to a gas station in Ocala.

Authorities say Neha Patel came to her Lakeland home Friday morning with the baby wrapped in a blanket and told her husband that she had killed him.

Judd said the boy had been born four months premature. He said Patel had threatened to harm herself before and was suffering from postpartum depression — but wasn't taking her medicine. Patel told her husband she was also going to kill herself and left their home.

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