PITT COUNTY, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – A mother is behind bars after police say she sent a pocket knife to her young daughters, along with instructions for them to murder her former in-laws using the weapon.
The woman, 31-year-old Leticia Silva of Lakeland, Fla., had her bond set at $5 million by a North Carolina judge overseeing the case, WFLA-TV is reporting.
Silva allegedly mailed the knife to her daughters, who are 7 and 9 years of age, and included a note instructing them to kill their father’s parents. The weapon was subsequently found under the pillow of one of the girls by their grandmother, according to authorities with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.
Silva then turned herself in on Monday.
The station learned that Silva lost custody of the children while serving a prison sentence for possession of methamphetamines. During her time in jail, the children were reportedly sent to live with their paternal grandparents.
Despite serving time, Silva was said to be dedicated to parenting her daughters.
“Her one goal in life was to get them back,” Mary Snell, a friend of Silva’s, was quoted as saying.
Police are unsure of whether or not Silva’s in-laws were in any legitimate danger.
“It’s hard to say what a child’s going to do,” Det. Charles Mitchell said to the station. “The grandparents have told me that they have spoken to the children and neither one of them would carry it out.”
Still, Silva is facing charges – specifically, four counts of first degree solicitation to commit murder. However, Snell is convinced of her innocence.
“I think they set her up big time,” Snell told WFLA. “She’s not capable of doing something like that.”