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The Cincinnati Post
April 29, 1994
Author: George Lecky and France Griggs, Post staff reporters
Yvonne Grubb walked into a Cincinnati police station Wednesday morning and confessed to killing her 3-year-old son, police said today. As her confession emerged, Cincinnati homicide investigators already were converging on the Price Hill apartment where her son, Jervell Smith, was found brutally murdered earlier that morning.
While gathering evidence, investigators concluded the child may have been attacked in a bathroom with a knife before he ran into a bedroom. The child’s body was later found on a bloody bed.
Despite multiple stab wounds to his back, head and neck, the boy may have died from strangulation, said Lt. Gregory Snider, commander of the homicide unit.
“We think he was assaulted in the bathroom and ran into the bedroom,” Snider said. Ms. Grubb walked into police headquarters in the West End shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, about half an hour after Ms. Grubb’s father found the body.
A family member and Hamilton County social workers have said there were no indications Ms. Grubb, a mental patient, would harm her son.
When Hamilton County Children’s Services closed its case file on Jervell Smith last August, there were no signs of abuse by the mother, no clues that seven months later she would allegedly fatally stab her son.
The county became involved with the family after the child’s mother was hospitalized, said Hamilton County Commissioner Guy Guckenberger, who gathered details from Children’s Services officials. “A mental-health worker contacted Human Services and said the mother had been hospitalized and the worker had the child. This was the county’s first contact,” Guckenberger said.
The county did not take custody but supervised the child’s placement with a relative until March or April, when the mother was released from the hospital, Guckenberger said.
County officials helped arrange day care and parenting classes for Ms. Grubb. She attended all but one of the 10 classes, he said.
The county closed its file in August because there were no signs the mother was having trouble caring for the boy.
Ms. Grubb, 34, was arraigned Thursday in Hamilton County Municipal Court on a charge of murder. A city prosecutor said she stabbed and choked her son.
Police said the child was stabbed repeatedly in their apartment at 3193 Considine Lane, Price Hill. Municipal Court Judge David Davis set bond at $50,000 after prosecutors and police said she had a criminal record and mental problems.
Only her court-appointed attorney, Perry Ancona, was in court Thursday. Three investigations into the child’s death will be conducted, said county Human Services spokeswoman Mindy Good.
Ms. Grubb’s father, Robert Powell Jr., was the first to find the blood-spattered scene. Powell said his daughter was on medication for depression and was scheduled for treatment Wednesday at the Cincinnati Health Department.
DALE A. DUNAWAY/The Cincinnati Post – Neighbors look at the exterior of the Grandview Apartments unit in Price Hill where a mother is suspected of stabbing her young son to death. The woman’s father found his grandson Wednesday morning.
Copyright 1994 The Cincinnati Post
Record Number: CNP042900132020007