CLEVELAND — A woman on Tuesday was charged in the bathtub drowning deaths of her two young daughters and was being held in jail on suicide watch.
City prosecutors filed two counts of aggravated murder against Amber Hill, 22, after a coroner ruled the deaths of the girls, ages 4 and 2, were homicides.
Hill had no documented history of neglecting the girls but had herself been the victim of abuse by their father, Jamie Cintron, according to authorities and court records.
"We never had a call of any maltreatment of the children," said Jim McCafferty, director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. "The kids were clean and well cared for. It's just a sad situation."
Police identified the girls as Jannelle Cintron, 4, and Cecess Hill, 2. The coroner's office had different spellings of their first names, Janelle and Ceccies.
Hill was to appear in court Wednesday morning. She did not have an attorney yet.
Cintron, 23, said Hill called him at work Monday and said their children "are at peace," police Lt. Thomas Stacho said. He then went to the woman's apartment and pulled the girls from the water in the bathtub.
Hill, who neighbors said was studying to be a nursing assistant, was calm and showed no emotion when she was taken away by police, Stacho said. The girls were placed on life support and were pronounced dead at a hospital.
Father convicted of domestic violence
In July 2006, Cintron pleaded no contest and was found guilty of domestic violence against Hill in Cleveland Municipal Court. A message left for Cintron on Tuesday was not immediately returned.
During an argument with Hill "he started knocking things over, then he said he was leaving with their children, he picked up a hammer and broke the TV with it, then he grabbed her by the neck and shoved her," a summons for his arrest said.
Cintron served 26 days in jail, and the rest of his six-month sentence was suspended. He was placed on probation for 18 months and ordered to have no contact with Hill.
He also was ordered to take a class on parenting skills and permitted to see his children only if a third party was present. Court records do not indicate if he attended the domestic violence and parenting programs.
In 2004, Cintron pleaded no contest and was found guilty of domestic violence against Hill. He was put on six months' probation.
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