Woman accused of killing infant, stabbing ex-boyfriend
WILLIAMSPORT — A city woman has been charged in the death of her five-month-old baby girl and alleged stabbing of her estranged boyfriend, both of whom were the infant’s parents, city police said.
The deceased girl’s mother, Corrie Shanikah Cowlay-Saunders, 22, of 344 Adams St. has been charged with criminal homicide along with attempted homicide for allegedly stabbing her estranged boyfriend, Cordell Faltz, in the neck and jaw, after allegedly killing Cailania Faltz, the baby, Thursday night, according to an arrest affidavit by city Police Agent Laura Kitko.
Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessing Jr. said the girl was pronounced dead by one of his deputy coroners and an autopsy was scheduled for today at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown.
Kiessling declined to specify any cause of death until the forensic pathologist was done with the autopsy.
Evidence of injuries on the child’s neck/throat area were present, according to Kitko.
Cowlay-Saunders was brought to UPMC Susquehanna as a result of a vehicle crash and while there she made spontaneous utterances without any prompting by police or medical staff, repeatedly stating, “I killed my baby;” “I killed my daughter,” Kitko said.
Cowlay-Saunders also said, “I said to myself he is the one who deserves to die, so I went to his house to kill him,” the affidavit states.
These statments were heard by several city police and hospital staff, Kitko said.
Follow-up investigation revealed that Cowlay-Saunders entered Faltz’s residence at 1014 Franklin St. without permission, stabbed him in the neck, took his keys and vehicle, fled the scene and crashed it into a fence at Maxwell Place and Railway Street, near Youngs Woods Park, according to police.
City patrol received an emergency dispatch for a reported stabbing at 9:36 p.m. Thursday at the Franklin Street residence and found Faltz on the front porch. He had been stabbed in the neck, the affidavit states.
Faltz told the investigating officers that his estranged girlfriend had stabbed him and drove away from the house in his vehicle.
About the same time, Cowlay-Saunders crashed Faltz’s vehicle into a fence near the intersection of Maxwell Place and Railway Street, police said.
Cowlay-Saunders was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, police said.
Faltz was taken to UPMC Susquehanna, where he was treated for his injuries.
One stab wound was located on his upper neck area near his right ear, police said. A laceration was found on his right jaw area, police said.
Kitko interviewed Faltz at the hospital and he told the agent that he’d been in a relationship with Cowley-Saunders and they had a five-month-old girl.
Faltz told Kitko he and his young son went to bed about 9 p.m. and shortly afterward Faltz said he heard noises downstairs but because it was a duplex Faltz said he thought it was a neighbor, the affidavit states.
Next, Faltz said he saw Cowley-Saunders in his bedroom, the affidavit states.
Faltz said he locked the doors and his estranged girlfriend was not provided a key or access to the residence, the affidavit states.
Faltz said he asked his estranged girlfriend several times to leave the residence, which, he said, she refused.
Faltz said he went downstairs in an effort to lead her out of the house and when he got there he noticed that his car keys were msising and went upstairs to look for them, police said.
Cowlay-Saunders told Faltz the car keys might be under the crib and as Faltz crawled on his stomach and reached underneath the crib with his left hand he felt movement behind him and was stabbed in the neck, police said.
Faltz said he tried to fight her off and remove the knife, which he described as smaller than a paring knife, from his neck, the affidavit states.
While doing so, Faltz said he sustained a second cut on his jaw, Kitko said.
Faltz said Cowlay-Saunders then ran from the house and he followed her outside.
Faltz told police he saw Cowlay-Saunders sitting in his vehicle and then driving away in it.
By then, Faltz said he was having difficulty breathing and felt as though he was going to lose consciousness but was able to contact 911 on a phone, the affidavit states.
While city police were on the scene of the stabbing, state police troopers had requested a welfare check on an infant at 344 Adams St., which was later determined to be Cowlay-Saunders address, Kitko said.
The welfare check was generated due to Cowlay-Saunders telling officers at the scene of the vehicle crash that her baby was dead, Kitko said.
Officers were unable to find the baby at the crash scene and when they arrived found the dead girl baby in an upstairs bedroom, Kitko said.
Officers observed light bruising around the right side of the infant’s neck and throat that did not match the color on the back of her arms and body, the affidavit states.
The infant was identified as the girl born July 28, 2020, daughter of Cowlay-Saunders and Faltz.
The Lycoming County District Attorney’s office approved charges against Cowlay-Saunders who was arraigned via video before District Judge Christian Frey. Arraigned before District Judge Christian Frey on charges of homicide, endangering the welfare of children, attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, possessing instrucments of crime-possession of a weapon, burglary, criminal trespass and authorized use of an automobile, Cowlay-Saunders was committed with the county prison after being denied bail.
City Police Capt. Jason Bolt was present at the video arraignment, court papers said.
Cowlay-Saunders was at the Adams Street residence for less than one year, court documents said.
Cowlay-Saunders had been working in home health care prior to the incident, court papers showed.
Her next scheduled court appearance is a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Thursday before District Judge Aaron Biichle.