Police: Mom stabs 6-year-old daughter to death in anger after her parental rights were terminated


JACKSONVILLE, FL – Purkanah Mayo was allegedly distraught over the termination of her parental rights for her 6-year-old daughter, Atarah. The 36-year-old the reportedly stabbed her daughter multiple times with a kitchen knife before stabbing herself. 

Sadly, the little girl did not survive her injuries. But her mother did. 

She is now being held without bond in the Duval County jail. She was in court in an orange jumpsuit, which according to sources, indicate inmates that are considered high-risk. Her next appearance is slated for September 21st. 

Mayo was taken to the hospital due to her self-inflicted stab wounds. She was released on Friday and promptly arrested, according to News Jax4

The attack took place on Wednesday, August 19th. 

Police responded to the address after someone inside the home called 911. After they launched the initial investigation, police would not say how the two were related. They also could not say if they had records of responding to that address for domestic disturbances in the past. 

A GoFundMe was set up by Paige Savitz, who said: 

“I was blessed to have known Atarah. She was a bright young girl, with a contagious smile and a huge heart. Atarah lost her life tragically on August 19, 2020. I am raising money to help her family with funeral expenses and as a Memorial to Atarah. Please keep this family in your prayers.”

It is hard to fathom what would lead a parent to take the life of their own child. It is equally difficult to comprehend what would lead a person to attempt to kill a child, especially in such a violent manner. 

But it has happened before. Look at this story from Texas a little more than a month ago. 

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MISSION, TX – A councilman is dead.. and police say he left them with no choice.

Police responded to 1409 Viejo Ln regarding a domestic dispute around 9:30pm.  Upon arrival, a four-year-old child came running towards them while bleeding. 

Officers who were on scene took the child and the mother, the girlfriend of Sullivan City Council member Gabriel Salinas, who both had wounds on their person from some type of edged weapon. 

As the officers extracted the victim’s to safety, Salinas appeared and began firing at the officers, one of which returned fire, it is unclear if the rounds discharged by the officer struck Salinas.

As the girlfriend and the child were being taken to the hospital, Salinas retreated into his home and locked the doors.  Mission Police Chief Dominguez advised that Hostage Negotiators were dispatched to the scene and attempted to establish a dialogue with him in order to get him to peacefully surrender.  Those efforts ultimately failed.

Police began evacuating nearby homes in order to ensure their safety.  This is typical in situations that involve an active shooter, someone who comes out from their home or place of safety and begins to indiscriminately discharge a firearm at anyone or anything.  This is done in order to ensure that officers on the scene only have to worry about the subject that has the firearm and not worry about anyone else being injured.

What happens in these situations are that law enforcement repeatedly announce who they are and call for the person to exit the residence with their hands clear.  This happens over and over again until a search warrant is written and signed by a judge. 

Once this happens, SWAT deploys, typically with a robot or some other device which would limit the risk exposed to the suspect and officers at the scene.

After several hours with no response from Salinas, Mission Police and the Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT team forced entry into the residence and deployed a robot inside. 

Around 3 am, the robot observed what appeared to be Salinas’ body on the ground with blood on the floor.  Unable to confirm whether or not the suspect is disabled, extreme caution is taken prior to SWAT officers entering the scene. 

When they did enter the scene, they located Salinas and found him deceased. 

When questioned about Salinas injuries and possible cause of death, Chief Dominguez said:

“As far as I know right now, it was not a self-inflicted gun shot wound…I think he died as a result of being hit in the transfer of fire between our officers and the Sheriff’s deputies.” 

At this point, it appears that the wound that ultimately caused the death of Salinas may have been a result of the officers returning fired after being shot at by him.

Law enforcement had dealt with Commissioner Salinas in the past when they arrested him for domestic violence.  In that incident in 2019, he was arrested for assaulting a woman who lived at the home that he was in a domestic relationship with, it is unclear if the victim in this case is the same woman or a different person. 

In that case, the victim dropped all charges against him and he remained as a council member until his death. 

The child involved in the case was treated and released from the hospital for a reported gunshot graze to his head and lacerations possibly from some type of edged weapon.  The woman who was transported to the hospital is in critical condition at the hospital after surgery to repair the damage caused, possibly also by an edged weapon. 

Victim’s of domestic violence typically are hesitant to pursue criminal charges for many reasons, some of which could be because the abuser in the situation is the one who provides the income or because they have been beaten down enough that they actually believe they deserved what happened to them. 

Whatever the cause of the woman in the initial incident, it is important to understand that victim’s in this case are not at fault.  It is true that they could have potentially avoided further injury if they had left and exposed the abuser at the on-set, but it is not that simple. 

Often times it takes several exposures to law enforcement and counselors before a victim is able to stand up and fight back against the abuse they have suffered.  It is not their fault, but it is crucial for them to get the help they need to overcome the problem. 

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