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Police accuse woman of stabbing her two nieces

By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
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Aunt accused of stabbing nieces
  • Lisa Turkki was babysitting the girls Saturday night, police say
  • She called 911 requesting assistance for the injured girls
  • She has been charged with first-degree assault
  • The girls are in stable condition and improving
  • Crime and Law
  • New York

(CNN) -- A woman babysitting her two young nieces Saturday night was arrested after police say she stabbed the girls multiple times in their Katonah, New York, home across the street from property owned by Martha Stewart.

Lisa Turkki, 39, of East Syracuse, is being held in Westchester County jail on two counts of assault in the first degree, Lt. Jeffrey Dickan of the Bedford Police Department, told CNN Monday.

Police were alerted to the stabbings by a 911 call placed by Turkki, Dickan said. When a responding officer arrived, Turkki was standing out in the driveway of the home, unarmed, and was taken into custody, he said.

Upon entering the home, the two girls -- identified as 7-year-old Maeve Kelly and 9-year-old Annabel Kelly -- were found on the kitchen floor with "multiple" stab wounds, Dickan said.

"The scene was pretty terrible," he said. "There were large amounts of blood all over the kitchen."

Two kitchen knives that appeared to have been used in the stabbings were recovered from inside the home, Dickan said.

The girls were conscious and talking to authorities before they were rushed to Westchester County Medical Center, Dickan said. As of Monday morning, the girls were in stable condition and were improving, he said.

The girls' parents, identified as Joseph and Eva Kelly, were attending a concert at a local performing arts center when the incident occurred, Dickan said.

Dickan described Katonah as "usually a very quiet area" with neighborhoods made up of larger homes and estates. The Kellys' expansive home -- once touted on a sustainable-living blog for its eco-friendly features -- sits across the street from a large piece of property owned by Martha Stewart.

"We're fortunate here -- our crime levels are not that high," Dickan said.