With no criminal history, it is a mystery to the neighborhood, relatives, and cops as to why a mother has been charged for murdering her own child in cold blood.
Little Caroline Rose Cagle had just celebrated her 5th birthday. A few weeks later, her mother, 50-year-old Penny Short Hartle, was charged with stabbing her daughter to death.
On April 25, 2021, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office of Hendersonville, North Carolina, released a Facebook statement reporting a local stabbing. They later found out that a toddler had been knifed to death.
A police car driving down a road. | Source: Shutterstock
THE SHERRIF'S OFFICE STATEMENT
Unaware of Caroline's demise yet in the Sherrif's Office's first Facebook statement, they conveyed they were still investigating the incident. In their own words, they wrote:
"Officers... were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at a residence on Fiesta Lane in the Fruitland Community."
The statement further assured residents that this was an isolated incident. Thus, residents shouldn't be fearful of the recurrence of such crime.
A few hours later, the office updated the community about the incident on Facebook. They reported that a 5-year-old girl had passed away and the suspect, her mother, was arrested with no bond.
One neighbor expressed that Wayne [the father] deeply loved Caroline and that she was his princess.
Continuing, the office asserted that Hartle was being charged for murder in the second degree. Many individuals reacted to the post with anger, sadness, or shock, referring to the mother as a type of monster.
GOING TO COURT
Penny waved her first court appearance after consultation with a chief public defender. He stated that she will be appearing in court in about a week and that the office will designate her a public defender.
Penny has no recorded history of criminal activity. Some of her relatives alleged that the mother had mental health issues but said that this never seemed to result in any abuse towards Caroline.
MAKE A WISH
Caroline's older sister Gladys Cagle released a clip of the little girl's 5th birthday party. Although there was a cake right in front of her when making her wish, the 5-year-old cutely said:
"I wish for a cake."
Family members and locals who know Caroline's father Wayne are trying to comfort the grieving dad. One neighbor expressed that Wayne deeply loved Caroline and that she was his princess.
Not so long ago, a similar incident occurred where a mother, 23-year-old Danezja Kilpatrick, killed her newborn twins. She claimed she did so because they weren't letting her get enough sleep.
Police officers came across the two dead newborns in her apartment in Queens while doing a welfare check. This was not the first time she tried to kill them, having tried to poison them via their milk before.
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