A 7-month-old baby miraculously survived after being reportedly thrown off a 118ft bridge by her own mother in north-east Brazil. Carla Regina Mendes, 23, threw baby Thayller over the railings on José Sarney Bridge, in Sao Luis, northeast Brazil in front of shocked passersby.
The child had already sunk deep into the swampy river when two quick-thinking off-duty police officers got to her, just in time before she disappeared underneath the surface.
Baby Thallyer suffered a blow to her head and bruising to her back after landing in a stagnant stretch on the Sao Francisco river. Ms Mendes, who was arrested at the scene, later told the police to be suffering from mental health problems and depression.
She has been sent for psychiatric tests and could face charges of attempted murder depending on the outcome of the evaluations. Officers Danilo Pestana and Herberth Ribeiro were returning together from football training around 2 pm on a motorbike when they noticed a commotion involving a woman on the bridge.
Witnesses shouted that the young mum had just thrown Thallyer over the edge and into the river below. The officers immediately plunged into the mud, which reached up their waist, to rescue the little Thallyer who had lost most of her clothes and was only wearing a nappy.
Officer Pestana told local media:
‘It was difficult to locate the baby, we could only see her head sticking out of the sludge. We could see she was being suffocated and that mud was in her mouth.
The mud hampered our movements. It slowed us down and it was hard to get through. But as we got closer to the child, she saw us and started to cry and tried to get herself out.
Her desperate cries were heartbreaking and we pushed hard to reach her before she sunk beneath the mud. When we got to her and pulled her out she cried loudly in our arms and that was the best sound we could hear as it made us so happy that she was alive.
Thank God, we managed to get there in time because she would have certainly choked to death,’ a relieved Officer Pestana said’.