Rochester mother accused of trying to kill her 5 children

Farhiyo Abdullahi Photo: Olmsted County Adult Detention Center. Farhiyo Abdullahi

Updated: October 10, 2019 11:01 AM
Created: October 10, 2019 10:11 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- A Rochester mother is facing five counts of 1st-degree attempted homicide after Rochester police said she tried to kill herself along with her five children, ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old. Police said she locked them in the car with the windows up and the car running in the garage. 

On October 2 around 7:00 p.m., Rochester police were called to an apartment on the 200 block of 1 St. NE in Rochester. A 24-year-old woman had called police to request a welfare check of her 32-year-old sister, Farhiyo Abdullahi, and her sister's five children. The 24-year-old said she was worried about her sister and the kids after hearing that her sister may have locked the kids in the car the day before; on October 1. 

After the "car incident", the sister called child protective services who put a "safety plan" in place, and had made a plan to meet on October 4. 

When police responded to the call on October 2, they spoke with the Abdullahi. Rochester Police Lieutenant Mike Sadauskis said she answered officers' questions. She reportedly told them that she has been dealing with some mental health issues and was on medication but she was doing "okay" and didn't have feelings of wanting to harm herself or others. 

While the officers were in the lobby of the apartment calling a social worker, a neighbor came down and said the two sisters were fighting. 

The officers went into the apartment, and found the Abdullahi on the carpet with her sister on top her her "holding her down so she wouldn't get hit," said Lt. Sadauskis. 

Police then got into a struggle with the Abdullahi and eventually got her handcuffed. Lt. Sadauskis said officers were arresting her for domestic assault, but brought her to Mayo Clinic Hospital - Saint Marys Campus because they believed she was a danger to herself and/or others. 

The sister said she would watch the five children overnight.  Abdullahi was cited for disorderly conduct, and two domestic assault charges. 

The next day, October 3, child protective services contacted police to say they were still concerned about the "locked in car" incident they were called about on the 1st. Police officers took the five kids into protective custody. On Monday, October 7, officers interviewed the kids at Mayo Clinic's Child Advocacy Center. 

Lt. Sadauskis said the children told officers that on October 1, their mom brought them out of their house, into the garage, and told them to get in the car. Abdullahi then allegedly closed all the doors and windows and started the car. The kids said there was also a "flexible pipe" going from the car's tailgate into a window. 

After a period of time, the kids guessed about two hours, some of the kids started to get sick. The oldest one vomited. At that point, the kids said their mom "panicked" and opened the car doors and got the kids out of the car. She allegedly punched the oldest kid twice in the face. 

When officers went to Mayo Clinic Hospital to talk to Abdullahi about these allegations, Lt. Sadauskis said Adbullahi admitted to it, but minimized it. She allegedly said she plugged the tailpipe with a towel and they "weren't in there for very long." 

Farhiyo Abdullahi was arrested and is facing five counts of 1st-degree attempted homicide. 

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