(GREENVILLE, N.C.) — A Florida woman is being held on $5 million bond for allegedly mailing a knife to her two young children and telling them to kill their grandparents, police said.
Leticia Silva, 31, of Lakeland, Fla., is charged with four counts of solicitation to commit murder. Her children, daughters age 7 and 9, have been living with their grandparents in Greenville, N.C., for seven years. The grandparents have permanent custody of the girls, police said.
Silva “contacted her children and asked them to kill their grandparents,” according to a statement by the Pitt County Sheriff’s office. Greenville is located in Pitt County.
“The children revealed that Silva had mailed a knife to be used as the weapon to commit this crime,” the sheriff’s statement said.
The knife and the message were sent to the girls in December 2012, police said. The grandparents found the knife under the pillow of one of the girls in February, according to the statement. The police said they began their investigation on Feb. 4.
Officials said the grandparents spoke to the children about finding the knife and were told that they “love their grandparents very much” and couldn’t carry out the murder.
Silva turned herself in to Pitt County authorities on Monday and was held on $5 million bond. She recently requested a reduction in bail, telling the judge, “Your honor, I need… my family is here from Florida. I turned myself in. I need to see if I can get a bond reduction.”
The judge refused to lower Silva’s bail.
Silva’s boyfriend reportedly has said that he believes the charges are a result of a “misunderstanding” and that the children’s grandparents are “making this all up.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin and Holly Yan, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN