Sylvia Majewska, a 65-year-old mother and grandmother, has been charged with the murders of both her son and her granddaughter in a crime that police describe as “crazy and bizarre.”
Majewska’s son, 29-year-old Daryne Gailey, and his 7-month-old daughter, Charley Hendrick, were found dead when police went to Gailey’s home for a welfare check. The police had been notified by the baby’s mother, Gailey’s ex-wife, who called authorities when Gailey failed to return their child after a scheduled weekend visit. The first welfare check to Gailey’s home showed no one home, but a second welfare check, this one instigated by Gailey’s own father, resulted in the police finding the bodies of the father and child.
The subsequent autopsy of the two show that the infant died of blunt force trauma, and Gailey died after having his throat slit with a box-cutter.
Majewska was found at the scene of the crime with her arm bleeding in what may have been a suicide attempt. The motive behind the deaths of both her son and granddaughter are unclear, but according to investigators working on the case, notes and other evidence collected indicate that Majewska has been planning the murders for some time, resulting in her arrest on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
Oakland County, Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard stated, “For whatever reason, she came to the conclusion that the son and the child would be better off if they weren’t alive, sadly.”
According to reports, Gailey had “lifelong cognitive learning disabilities” as well as a seizure disorder. His mother had been his legal guardian since he was a child. He was described by those who knew him as a gentle, loving and devoted father. Those who knew of his mother, however, say she is a domineering woman who pushed for the divorce between Gailey and the mother of his child, even though Gailey did not want a separation — and that she had wanted the couple to put the baby up for adoption.
Neighbor Charles Miller said, “Daryne’s mom and dad didn’t want nothing to do with it — didn’t want nothing to do with the baby,” adding that Gailey’s mother pushed for the divorce against his will, stating, “Daryne didn’t want to be divorced.” Neighbor Michele Miller said of the relationship between mother and son that Majewska “controls him and everything he does.”
Majewska also filed an order of protection against her former daughter-in-law and police verify that the relationship between Majewska and her son was volatile, with the police responding to multiple calls because of escalating arguments between the two.
Majewska was arraigned on Monday, but remains hospitalized and has yet to speak with investigators, although it is reported that she is conscious and able to speak. She is scheduled for a preliminary exam in court on December 18 and, if convicted, faces a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole.