Leticia Maria Silva, a 31-year-old woman from Lakeland, North Carolina, was arrested for mailing a switchblade pocketknife to her daughters to kill their paternal grandparents.
The daughters, aged seven and nine, are living with the grandparents who have full custody of them for the past seven years. Reports say that Silva can only speak to her daughters once or twice a month.
After Silva allegedly mailed the knife around Christmas last year, she called her daughters and instructed them to use the weapon to commit the killings. The grandparents found the knife under one of the children’s pillows.
Deputies say that the children would not have carried out the murder plot.
“It’s hard to say what a child is going to do. The grandparents have told me that they spoke to the children, and the children said neither one of them would carry it out,” a detective said. “They said that they loved their grandparents very much.”
Silva turned herself in and was arrested. She appeared before a Pitt County judge and asked for a reduction in the $5 million bail and visitation rights. She is scheduled to make another appearance on March 21.