Last Words

"I just killed my baby," "And now I'm going to kill myself."

According to family, those words were among the last words of Jerlisa Contreras, 24, on Fri. moments before the line went dead.

The family thinks that the calls to various family members were made just after she dropped 15 month old Alyssa Scott over the side of a bridge. Investigators say that an autopsy will be done to determine if little Alyssa had any trauma prior to being dropped off the bridge.

"Fanny" as she was known to her family, appeared to be tearful and anguished on the phone. They say that Fanny was a good and loving mother. And that at one time she was fun and outgoing. She liked to dance and go out on the town once in a while. But that she internalized her problems. They say she appeared troubled and stressed lately. Her relationship with baby Alyssa's father had recently ended. They say she seemed depressed.

Reportedly, last week Jerlisa had found out that Alyssa's father had another woman. Allegedly she confronted the woman Saturday and they came to blows.

The family says that Alyssa was just learning to talk. She had a full head of curly hair and just a few weeks ago her ears were pierced.

Jerlisa Contreras or Fanny had another child. A 6 year old boy. He had had trouble acclimating to the schools there, so Fanny had sent him to stay with her younger sister a month ago.  

According to witnesses, Jerlisa pulled up on the bridge, near it's highest point and parked on the shoulder. She got out of the car, leaned over the railing and dropped Alyssa. She then climbed the railing and jumped. Police say it was a 100 to 200 foot drop.

A fisherman heard the splash and called 911. One rescue boat picked up little Alyssa's body and the other picked up Jerlisa. Alyssa was pronounced dead at the hospital before noon, but Jerlisa is in critical condition. Family says she is brain dead.

This is not the first deaths the family has suffered. They say that two of the Contreras' brothers had died. And last year a cousin died in a plant explosion.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-7/115051961130370.xml&coll=1

I hurt for this family. They appear to be a close family. They were gathering outside her home, even before they received the news from officials. And this was both the fourth and fifth loss they have suffered.

Jerlisa likely didn't consider what she was leaving behind. One relative said that she had a tendency to dwell on her problems. And likely that was her only consideration before what she did.

She likely didn't think of the grieving family she would be leaving behind, or thought they would get over it. She likely didn't consider the traces of guilt she would also leave, because though they got to talk to her before her death they weren't able to talk her out of it, and they were too far away to physically stop her.

She likely didn't consider the 11 year old little sister who looked up to her, and now will have only memories tinged with the melancholia of the tragic events. The 6 year old son, whose memories of his mother and sister will already be faint at best. Yet he is old enough to remember that he once had a mother and sister, and no longer does.

What always hits me the hardest is what we will never know. We will never know if Alyssa may have grown up to be a woman president, a lawyer, a nurse, a doctor,  a teacher, a mother. Or maybe a scientist who would discover the cure for depression.  

If you know of a family member who is showing signs that they are struggling or they begin behaving erratically, please get them to a doctor or a counselor. Most communities have a mental health center that works on a sliding scale fee according to income. Yes, it may be a temporary thing. But they may need help getting through it.

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Jerlisa Contreras, 24, was pronounced dead at 6:52 am yesterday.

The autopsy has been completed on Alyssa, and her cause of death has been determined to be asphyxiation and head injuries. The autopsy shows the child was dead before she was thrown off the bridge. However, where the child died has not been determned. According to the prosecutor, there are no obvious signs at the home to indicate she was killed there.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1150692398190150.xml&coll=1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of Jerlisa's last calls was to the sister who was caring for her son. Alyssa could be heard crying in the background. In the call, Jerlisa begged her sister to care for her son, as if he were her sister's own child. She also asked for forgiveness from her mother, and said she could not take it anymore. However, the sister did not have her cell phone with her at the time, and the 4 calls she made, went to voice mail.

Jerlisa's next call was to a cousin, and in it she admitted to killing her daughter, and said that she was going to kill herself.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1150779511189360.xml&coll=1

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1 Comment

  1. Kayci said,

    April 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    i love u alyssa! u were the bestest friend i had during elementary school evewn wen i heard u were in heaven cuz ur mom! i love u baby girl! and i miss ur bubbly smile eve3ry day in the morning! RIP sweet cheeks! ❤


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