IOSCO COUNTY, MI – A Michigan mother whose three-year-old daughter was found stabbed to death and stuffed into a garbage bag said that she was commanded to kill her child by Spongebob Squarepants, or else the children’s cartoon character would have killed her instead.
As revealed at a preliminary investigation hearing on February 4 by a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator, Justine Johnson, 22, has been charged with first degree child abuse and felony murder in connection with the death of her daughter Sutton Mosser.
Johnson allegedly killed Sutton on September 16, just two days after the child’s third birthday; the suspect is claiming that Spongebob Squarepants communicated to her through a television set, telling her to kill her daughter or she would be killed in her place, according to CPS investigator Ryan Eberline.
“She told me that she didn’t remember the specifics of what happened at the time, that she was experiencing hallucinations due to heroin withdrawal and not sleeping for approximately two weeks,” she said. “She was getting hallucinations from the TV that had instructed her to take her daughter’s life, or they would kill her. It was SpongeBob who was saying these things on the TV. If she didn’t do what she did to her daughter, they would kill her. She said she was afraid for her life and she had lost her mind.”
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Johnson had been living in her mother’s home at the time of the incident, authorities say; police responded to the home when one of Johnson’s brothers discovered a garbage bag with a human foot sticking out of it. When Officers arrived on the scene, Iosco County Prosecutor James Bacarella said, they discovered Johnson’s daughter inside the bag, dead from multiple stab wounds.
Police say they later found Johnson walking along train tracks nearby; at the time, she refused to discuss her daughter’s death.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for February 28. Johnson is currently being held without bond.