ROCKFORD (WTVO) --While an investigation continues into the the stabbing death early Tuesday morning of 8-year-old Thomas Kossow, a neighborhood remains in shock on the westside.
"I don't know how a mother could do something like that to a child," says Billie Holt.
39-year old Jody L. Kossow has been charged with first degree murder, after prosecutors say she stabbed her son several times in the driveway of 228 Woodrow Av in Rockford. Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputies say they found the eight-year-old boy lying in the driveway with the mother standing next to the boy. Her husband and her 12-year-old daughter were asleep inside the house at the time of the murder.
Neighbors and friends say Thomas lived at home with an older sister, and the family was reportedly going through a divorce.
They also say the mother suffered from mental illness and was taking medication, but it's clear that no one expected a violent crime like this to occur.
"The mother was laying on the ground screaming," says Tauhidah El-Amin, a neighbor who lives across the street from the family. El-Amin says they moved into the home almost a year ago.
"They had handcuffs on her, and she was screaming. I had no idea that Thomas was laying in front of the car dead."
"Any time you have a child that's been a victim of a crime it's pretty difficult for the responding officers," says Dominic Iasparro of the Winnebago County Sheriffs Department. He says the first thing investigators will do is to look into the family's past.
"We have detectives that are doing background on the entire family as far as any past incidents that may have taken place in the family," says Iasparro. "What led up to this? Medical history, school history, work history? Everything that we could possibly obtain in the family, we're trying to obtain that information now."
Kossow is expected to be arraigned in Winnebago County court tomorrow afternoon.