Woman confesses to suffocating her baby with a plastic bag a decade ago; $200K bond

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Ten years after the death of her 4-month-old daughter, a Nashville mother now admits that she lied to police on the day of the girl’s death in June 2010, destroyed evidence and staged the scene to cover up her crime of murder. She says she suffocated her with a plastic bag for disrupting her life.

Zohal Sakwall, 40, was arrested at her home on N. Natchez Court in South Nashville late Monday night on a grand jury indictment charging her with 1st-degree murder.  She is jailed this morning in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Zohal Sakwall (MNPD)
Zohal Sakwall (MNPD)

On January 31st of this year, Sakwall telephoned the MNPD’s Youth Services Division, spoke with Detective Chris Bowden, and said that she was responsible for the death of her daughter, Natalie, on June 15, 2010.  Ten years ago, Sakwall claimed she had laid the infant down for a nap, and that when she returned, the child had become entangled in a blanket and suffocated.  Natalie was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.  Based on all available information and the results of an autopsy, the death was classified by the MNPD and the Medical Examiner as an accident.

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Following Sakwall’s January 31st telephone call, Detectives Bowden and Steven Carrick interviewed her at police headquarters, during which she admitted to suffocating her daughter with a plastic bag due to what she said was the disruption to her life caused by having the child.  The case was staffed with the District Attorney’s Office and presented to the Grand Jury, resulting in the 1st-degree murder indictment.

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