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       "She was a sweet person and I still love her," Scott W. Buchholz said this week about his girlfriend and the mother of his son, "but she needs to be put to death for what she has done."
       What Otty Sanchez did was so horrifying it left hardened crime-scene investigators speechless. Men and women who had sifted through some of the most gruesome murders the state of Texas has to offer, were stunned into silence at the hideous sight of what Sanchez had left in her bloody wake. Her and Buchholz's three-week-old infant son lay in a pool of blood and dismembered body parts, having been carved like a Thanksgiving turkey by his psychotic mother. She'd eaten three of his toes and even pieces of the child's brain.
       The scene of horror took place early in the morning on Sunday, July 26, at 351 Wayside Drive in the north end of San Antonio, Texas. Otty Sanchez had been staying with her mother Manuela and cousin Priscilla Garcia. Sometime after 1:30 in the morning, Otty took a steak knife and repeatedly stabbed the tiny Scott Wesley Buchholz Sanchez, "Baby Scotty" to those who knew him. The crazed mother then decapitated and mutilated the body to the point where he was skinned and gutted. "She ate portions of it in addition to mutilation," said San Antonio police chief William McManus. "Apparently, she spent a fair amount of time doing it. She had opened up the child's head and, you know, it's too heinous for even me to describe it any further than I just have."
       Around 4:30, Manuela Sanchez was awakened by the sound of her daughter screaming. She investigated to find Otty sitting with the decapitated baby. Manuela took her grandson from Otty and placed the body on the bed. She and Priscilla Garcia then called 911. "The baby's dead. The baby is dead. Please, somebody come," Priscilla pleaded with the dispatcher.
       The 911 call also reveals the depths of Otty's insanity: Priscilla can be heard saying "Sister, I told you to come to me." In the background Otty replies "I tried, but you were telling me that you died." Priscilla answers, "I'm not dead, Otty. I'm standing right here talking to you."
       Police officers arrived at the house around 5:00 to find Otty Sanchez sitting on the couch screaming, "I killed my baby! I killed my baby!"
       In the bedroom they found the boy's body lying on the bed next to the steak knife. "I didn't mean to do it. He told me to," the murderous mom had said. Such a blame-the-victim ploy we
suspect has little chance of floating at trial.
       Scott W. Buchholz and Otty Sanchez began their relationship six years ago while they were students at the San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants. It had been a rocky union. In May 2008, Otty's mother called police when her daughter failed to return from a trip to Austin. She was fearful for her daughter's safety and told police she thought Otty was doing drugs. About six months later, Otty discovered she was pregnant with Buchholz's child and the couple redoubled efforts to make their relationship work. "She took really good care of herself during the pregnancy," said Buchholz. "We were excited about having a baby."
       But there were already signs of trouble. Otty had been undergoing psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia, and a hospital called periodically to check up on her. Otty's aunt Gloria Sanchez said her niece had been "in and out of a psychiatric ward."
       Otty and Buchholz lived together during the pregnancy and for two weeks after their son was born on June 30. But after the birth, Otty's mood took a turn for the worse, and she was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. On July 20, she moved out of the couple's home in Windcrest, a northeastern San Antonio suburb. That day she visited a local clinic after hearing voices. Doctors there determined she was having a severe mental breakdown, and had her transported to the Metropolitan Methodist Hospital emergency room. Scott Buchholz tried to contact her at the hospital, but was told by staff that HIPAA regulations prevented them from talking to him about her. "I couldn't do anything to help her," he says.
       She checked herself out later that same day. A source familiar with the investigation admitted "a lot of people are still wondering why they let her go." She took the baby and went to stay at her mother's house. Buchholz tried calling her every day over the next five days to no avail. Then, unexpectedly, she showed up at his mother's home on Saturday the 25th. At first, Scott and Kathleen–the child's other grandmother–were relieved to see Otty and baby Scotty seemingly in good health. But then things went downhill. Scott asked Otty if he could see the baby's birth certificate and other papers so he could make copies. With this, she became agitated and enraged. "I gotta go; I gotta go; I'm out of here," she said frantically, and ran out of the house with her son still in the carry/car seat. Tossing it hastily on the front passenger seat without securing it, she sped away from the scene.
       She'd left in such a hurry she'd forgotten her diaper bag, purse, and medication. Kathleen Buchholz called police, and a sheriff's deputy told them to call 911 if Otty returned. A few hours later, the spiraling mother called the Buchholz home asking if she could come get the things she'd forgotten. Kathleen Buchholz said yes, but she let Otty talk her into not calling the police again. "I agreed not to call the police," Kathleen said, "if she agreed she wouldn't drive when she came over." So Priscilla Sanchez drove. Kathleen walked out to the car and handed over the bags. It would be the last time she'd see her grandson baby Scotty alive.
       Later that night, as Scott Buchholz attended a Judas Priest concert, he received a call on his cell phone. It was Otty. She said she had found someone else and she never wanted to see him again. Six hours after that phone call, his son would be dead. That evening, Otty had begun hearing the voices again. She brought the baby to her cousin Priscilla several times. Finally, she seemed to calm down, and Priscilla gave her the baby back. Then she went to bed.
       Otty Sanchez has been charged with capital murder, which carries the death penalty. She is being held in the Bexar County Jail's mental health section on $1 million bail. Her mother and cousin have announced their intention to move out of the house.
July 30, 2009
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