Novi woman charged with premeditated murder after toddler found killed at home

Woman remains at hospital, under police guard

A 2-year-old boy was found dead Jan. 3, 2020 inside his home in Novi, Mich.

NOVI, Mich. – A 36-year-old woman whose 2-year-old son was found dead inside their home on Friday now faces a list of charges including premeditated first-degree murder.

Chunhui Shi is recovering from injuries at a hospital. Police said she attacked the toddler with a kitchen knife, then turned the knife on herself at the home on Sevilla Circle. When the woman’s 35-year-old husband, who works as a software engineer at an automotive technology company, returned from work at 5:23 p.m. Friday he found his son’s body and wife in a first floor bedroom. He called 911.

  • The 2-year-old boy was found dead by his father inside the family’s home on Friday, Jan. 3.
  • The mother has been in police custody at a hospital.
  • A court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Investigators say the family is from China and moved to Michigan in 2014. The mother has suffered from a history of mental illness.

Shi faces charges including felony murder, premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse. The mother underwent surgery and remains under police guard at the hospital. A probable cause conference is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Police said Shi will be transported to the Oakland County Jail once she is discharged from the hospital. She is ordered to be held without bond.

Sources tell Local 4 that the mother returned to China in September to be treated for mental health issues. Just this past Thursday, she was admitted to a local mental health facility, but she was later released. Police say there was apparently no concern that the child could be in danger.

Fewer than 24 hours later, tragedy struck.

Police have recovered the knife that was used.

The neighborhood plans to hold a candlelight vigil for the boy Tuesday evening.

Here is the report from this past weekend:

A 36-year-old mother with a history of mental health issues grabbed a kitchen knife, harmed her 2-year-old son who did not survive the attack, and then harmed herself with the same knife.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.