Knife-Wielding Mom to Face Murder Charges in Deaths of Two Kids

 / Updated 
Image: Jessica Lacey McCarty is pictured in this booking photo
Jessica Lacey McCarty is pictured in this booking photo from 2009, provided by Palm Bay Police. HANDOUT / Reuters

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A woman who was arrested outside her home Friday holding a knife will face murder charges in the deaths of two of her children, and a separate charge for attempting to murder her five-month-old baby, police said Saturday.

Jessica Lacey McCarty, 33, of Palm Bay, Florida, was being held without bond at the Brevard County Detention Center and will be charged within 24 hours in the deaths of her young daughter and son, Reuters reported.

No details on how Laci, 7, and Philip, 6, were killed have been released. Autopsies are going to be done on Sunday, Reuters said.

"We are still trying to verify the sequence of events, how and why they occurred," Lt. Mario Augello of the Palm Bay Police Criminal Investigations Division said in a statement. "This is still a very active criminal investigation and our priority as always is making sure we have the right answers so there can be justice in the deaths and injuries of these innocent children."

Police went to McCarty's house Friday night after receiving a call from a woman who said she killed her children, a news release said. When they arrived, they found McCarty with a large knife in her hand, and some minor injuries.

Three children, all unresponsive, were found inside. Laci and Philip were pronounced dead at the hospital; the baby is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, police said. The Orlando Sentinel identified the baby as Christopher Swist, born Oct. 8.

Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez would not give out information about the wounds the children had, but said Friday they were not stabbed or shot, Reuters reported.

—Elizabeth Chuck

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