NYPD: Harlem woman dies after fall, infant son critical

A file photo of an NYPD vehicle.

A file photo of an NYPD vehicle. (Credit: Newsday)

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A woman clutching her infant son plunged to her death from an eighth-floor Harlem apartment window but the 10-month-old boy survived, police said Wednesday night.

Cynthia Wachenheim, 45, was found on the street with her son near her arms, police said. An NYPD officer who responded took the baby to a Harlem hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Police discovered a seven-page suicide note under a bed in the apartment Wachenheim shared with her husband, according to The Associated Press.

Steven Dominguez, 18, said he was on his way to get groceries when he heard a faint scream from a building on the next corner. He looked up and saw something hit the sidewalk, then called 911 as he ran to help.

"I didn't want to believe it was a person, but it was," he said. "Next to her was a baby crying, facedown."

Dominguez said that police arrived on the scene almost immediately -- the building is on Bradhurst Avenue one block from a station house -- but they were unable to assist the mother.

Witnesses said they were shocked to see such events unfold at the co-op complex, which is staffed with a doorman and where apartments sell for as much as $400,000.

More than three hours after Wachenheim's fall, her body was still lying on the sidewalk, covered by a bloodstained sheet below an open eighth-floor window. Wachenheim went to law school at Columbia University, and her father was a State Police spokesman before his death in 2011. She worked in State Supreme Court in Manhattan doing legal research for judges but was on leave, according to The Associated Press.

With AP

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