Photo: Lorenza Delgadillo Penguelly kiled her 5-month-old daughter in 1986. Monday she tried to kill her mother.
In 1986, Lorenza Delgadillo Penguelly was charged with killing her 5-month-old daughter. Monday, she was arrested for attacking her mother with a knife.
Though convicted for killing her , Penguelly’s lawyers successfully argued that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis and she was sentenced to six years in prison. She was sent to San Bernardino County for psychiatric treatment.
But after being released from the facility and years of mental illness, Penguelly, 51, attacked her mother in what other members of the family are saying was an unprovoked attack.
While Elvira Delgadillo, 86, slept, her daughter came into her room with a knife and began stabbing her in the face, arms, and hands.
The daughter is being held without bail and it being charged with attempted murder for stabbing her mother in the face eight times, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse.
As of Wednesday, Delgadillo was in the hospital, but is expected to recover.
Delgadillo’s niece said Penguelly is mentally ill and did not believe she should have been released from the mental hospitals she visited over the years.
After the birth of her first child in 1984, Penguelly suffered severe postpartum psychosis, a rare psychiatric disorder suffered by mothers that can prompt them to kill.
In 1986, after attempting to give her second child away at Grape Street Pier, she threw the child into San Diego Bay.
The infant drowned and was found the next day by a 14-year-old who had said he initially thought the baby was a doll.
According to court records, when Penguelly took the stand she said the baby “didn’t make any cry when I threw her in the water. She floated and moved her little arms.”
At sentencing, the judge said society had failed the mother and the baby girl by failing to make adequate mental health resources available to her.
Delgadillo reportedly put her daughter in a mental facility, but she was released.
In the months leading up to the attack on her mother, family members said Penguelly’s mental illness had become more pronounced, and though she had medication for schizophrenia, she did not always take it.
Peguelly was 26 when she killed the infant named Sharai.
Her first child, a boy, is now 27 or 28.