Tashawna Caldwell was hysterical when police arrived at her home in South Texas on Sunday and found she had stabbed her almost 2-year-old son to death with a kitchen knife. Her older sister and her 7-month-old son, whom Caldwell had also hurt in the vicious attack, were barricaded in a bedroom. Caldwell was arrested and charged with capital murder, which makes the 26-year-old mom eligible for the death penalty.

But what caused her to commit such a brutal act?

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Although it hasn't been confirmed, Caldwell's stepfather, whose house was the site of the horrific murder, believes it had something to do with santería--a Caribbean religion that combines elements of African beliefs and Catholicism and has been compared to voodoo. 

Philip Short, who wasn't home at the time because he was working as a truck driver, told a local news station that his stepdaughter had mentioned she was worried about some items someone had left in her home, items that someone told her had something to do with santería or witchcraft. Short also said that Caldwell had starting sending him weird text messages Saturday night the last one of which recommended he call the neighbors before coming home. 

While hard to believe, Caldwell described his stepdaughter as a loving and caring mother to her son Caiden Parker who would've turned 2 years old today. 

I don't know much about santería, but I have a feeling Caldwell more than likely just lost her mind because I just don't see how a devoted mother would do something so evil to her own little boy.

Image via Facebook

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About the author

Roxana A. Soto is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a first-grader and a preschooler. She loves languages, traveling and good food – especially if it's cooked by someone else.

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Filed Under: tragedy, murder, mothers, death, baby
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