A Rochester woman is being held on $1 million unconditional bail on five counts of attempted murder after police said she attempted to kill herself and her five children.
Rochester police first made contact with Farhiyo Mohamed Abdullahi, 32, and her family on Oct. 2. Abdullahi's family called police over an incident the day before when she locked her five children in a car for a few hours, Rochester Police Lt. Mike Sadauskis said. Abdullahi's family did not know the extent or severity of the incident. Police learned how serious it was about a week later after interviewing the five children.
In addition to calling police, the family called child protective services, Sadauskis said. The five children are 11, 10, 9, 7 and 4 years old.
Police visited Abdullahi's residence in the 200 block of First Street Northeast around 7 p.m. on Oct. 2. Officers spoke with her. While she expressed that she was a little depressed, officers felt there was not enough cause to take her for a mental health evaluation, Sadauskis said.
Officers left Abdullahi's apartment but were still in the building when a neighbor ran to tell them a fight was occurring in Abdullahi's apartment. Officers returned and found Abdullahi's 24-year-old sister on top of her in an attempt to prevent being hit.
Abdullahi was arrested and taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys for evaluation, Sadauskis said. For the fight with her sister, she was charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, domestic assault fear and domestic assault inflict bodily harm. Abdullahi was held at the hospital.
A day after the fight, social services contacted Rochester police over concerns that the car incident might have been potentially serious and requested that police not only take the children into protective custody but that they be interviewed to determine what had occurred.
Officers interviewed the children on Monday. During the interviews, police learned that Abdullahi had put all of her children in a car that was parked in a closed garage and turned on the car. Sadauskis said the windows of the car were closed and a hose was running from the exhaust pipe to a window.
"Some of the kids knew potentially they could die," Sadauskis said.
The oldest child told police that after about two hours in the car, he vomited. At that point, Abdullahi opened the car doors, took the children out of the car and punched the eldest two times in the face, Sadauskis said.
Officers went to the hospital to interview Abdullahi. She told police she attempted to kill herself and her children and it "didn't work out," the criminal complaint reads. Abdullahi said she panicked because one of her children was vomiting and crying.
"(Abdullahi) had hoped that they would all die peacefully," the complaint states.
Evidence on scene corroborated the children's account of the incident, Sadauskis said. Abdullahi was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after being released from the hospital.
Abdullahi is charged with five felony counts of first-degree attempted murder-premeditated and five felony counts of child endangerment. In Olmsted County District Court Friday morning, Judge Christina Stevens set unconditional bail at $1 million. She did not set conditional bail.
Arianna Whitney, an attorney with the Olmsted County Attorney's Office, requested that multiple examinations be conducted to determine Abdullahi's mental well-being. Judge Stevens did not make a determination on that request during the hearing.
Abdullahi's next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 22.