Erie, Pennsylvania (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The life of an 11-year-old boy is cut short in Crawford County.
Pennsylvania State Police are now charging the victim’s adopted mother with criminal homicide. We spoke with neighbors in Crawford County and authorities about the investigation.
Neighbors in Crawford County said that they were surprised to learn officials found poison in the boy’s body. Pennsylvania State Police said that his mother is currently in custody.
Pennsylvania State Police in Meadville responded to a call on Mallard Road in East Fairfield Township on September 6th, 2021.
The caller stated that there was a deceased child found at a house.
“They collected evidence and information in regards to the call, the initial call. Through the investigation it was determined this incident was going to be ruled a homicide,” said Cindy Schick, Pennsylvania State Police Officer, Troop E.
Through further investigation, 11-year-old Najir Diehl was identified as the victim.
Pennsylvania State Police charged the boy’s adopted mother with criminal homicide.
“They determined the accused is the mother. She’s actually the adopted mother of the juvenile. Her name is Mary Diehl. They both lived at the same residence,” said Schick.
Through the course of this investigation, it was determined that poison was found. However, the specific details remain part of the ongoing investigation.
“We did use the Crawford County Coroner’s Office as well as Erie Forensic Pathologists and they do not know what the substance was,” said Schick.
Neighbors said that the boy appeared to have severe disabilities and said that they often saw Mary Diehl pushing her son in a stroller up and down their street. They said that they were surprised to find out the child was allegedly poisoned.
Diehl is currently being held at the Crawford County Correction Facility.
A date has not been set for her preliminary hearing.