UPDATED 11/8/10 2:01 p.m.

Girl’s Head Was Nearly Severed

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) – Prosecutors say a woman visiting the area from upstate New York killed her 4-year-old daughter to prevent the child from being raped and sold as a sex slave on the Internet.

Authorities say Marci Webber of East Nassau, New York so brutally stabbed her daughter, Magdalene, in the throat, that the child’s head was nearly severed.

Prosecutors said Webber, 43, told police she gave sleeping pills and Benadryl to her daughter, Magdalene “Maggie” Webber. Some of the medicine was found next to the girl’s body along with a 4-inch folding knife, prosecutors said.

“She said she wanted to keep her daughter from being an Internet sex slave,” Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Lindt said in court Sunday.

Prosecutors later said they did not believe the girl ever faced such a threat. They planned to seek a mental health evaluation in anticipation of an insanity defense, Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the DuPage County state’s attorney, said Monday.

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He said prosecutors would seek the evaluation after Webber’s Nov. 29 arraignment.

Webber has been assigned an assistant public defender to represent her. The DuPage County Public Defender’s office said that an attorney would not be able to comment on Monday.

DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Lindt said after Bloomingdale police responded to a 911 call from Webber’s teenage daughter last Wednesday, they discovered Maggie’s body in a bathtub. Her neck had been slashed with a knife.

Blood was smeared on a wall of the bathroom where the child’s body was found. The words “divine mercy” were written in blood on a nearby wall, Lindt said.

Webber has been transferred from Adventists GlenOaks Hospital to the DuPage County Jail. After receiving treatment for several self-inflicted wounds, she’s in good condition.

A law enforcement source says Webber – who was involved in a custody fight with her daughter’s father – had been staying at her mother’s home in Bloomingdale.

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