Mom Killed Toddlers 'For Religious Purposes' In NJ Home: Police Papers Reveal Gruesome Details

A New Jersey mother told investigators that she killed her two toddlers for "religious" reasons while experiencing concerning thoughts while her husband was away on business, according to arrest records obtained by Daily Voice.

Naomi Elkins, 27, of Lakewood, NJ, was accused of killing her two toddlers in the family's apartment on June 25, 2024.

Naomi Elkins, 27, of Lakewood, NJ, was accused of killing her two toddlers in the family's apartment on June 25, 2024.

Photo Credit: Facebook - Lakewood Police Department and Ocean County Jail

Naomi Elkins, 27, of Lakewood, NJ was charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon. She was arrested after the one- and three-year-old girls were killed in a two-family apartment home on Shenandoah Drive on Tuesday, June 25.

After her arrest, Elkins told investigators with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office that she began having "concerning thoughts" on Friday, May 24, according to an affidavit obtained by Daily Voice. She had gone to work that day at Giggl Childcare and her husband left for a business trip to Virginia.

The affidavit said Elkins claimed she spent that night praying after coming home from work. Her children also attended the day care center on Boulevard of the Americas.

On the day of the killings, Elkins said she used a car service to travel with her daughters to and from Giggl for work.

"She said that once she was home, she believed that she needed to kill the children for religious purposes," the affidavit said.

Elkins then explained she stabbed one girl and "only slightly punctured" her with a knife. Elkins then put the girl on the couch, started the bath, and held the toddler underwater for two or three minutes.

The affidavit also said Elkins' other daughter ran into another bathroom screaming and scared. Elkins followed her into that bathroom and started running water in the other tub.

Elkins then said she held her other daughter under the water for several minutes.

"She said that she counted to 50 multiple times to ensure she held them underwater for enough time," the affidavit said. "She said that afterwards, she realized that she had done something wrong, exited the bathroom, and contacted Hatzolah Medical Services."

After originally calling the service in Brooklyn, New York, Elkins did contact Lakewood Hatzolah to report she "had hurt her children." Elkins also told investigators she went outside to direct paramedics to her children.

Lakewood police arrived at the home at around 4:50 p.m. after receiving a report of two children in cardiac arrest. Hatzolah paramedics were giving lifesaving aid to the girls but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said Elkins' one-year-old daughter had apparent stab wounds in the middle of her stomach and the left side of her back. Both girls had also been drowned, with paramedics finding them wet and not wearing clothes. 

Elkins told investigators one of the girls began screaming in fear before Elkins put her in the tub and held her under water, counting to 50 multiple times, police paperwork says.

"[Elkins] said that afterwards, she realized that she had done something wrong, exited the bathroom and contacted Hatzolah Medical Services," police paperwork says.

"[Elkins] said that she went outside to direct the medical personnel to her children. During the interview, she indicated that she knew that it was illegal to kill her children and that what she did was wrong. 

"Detective Bromley presented her with an opportunity to write a letter to her children. The suspect wrote a letter and the letter was collected as evidence. The letter references killing her children."

Officers searched Elkins' apartment and found a serrated knife with a red handle inside the sink of a hallway bathroom. The bathtubs in both bathrooms were also filled with water.

Police said they found a 40-year-old man and his children living in the upstairs apartment. The man said he rents the basement apartment to Elkins, her husband, and their two children.

In her post-arrest interview with investigators, Elkins indicated she knew it was illegal to kill her daughters and that what she did was wrong. A detective also allowed Elkins to write a letter to her children and the letter referenced her killing them, according to the affidavit.

Elkins was held in the Ocean County Jail to await a detention hearing.

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