Mom of 12-year-old girl who stabbed her brother to death says he was on ADHD medication


June 2, 2023 | 8:26

Heartbroken mom of Oklahoma girl who stabbed her younger brother to death in a demonic rage said the little girl had recently gotten angry for no reason while taking ADHD medication, but when she pulled her daughter out, it was too late and he experienced a manic episode.

April Lyda revealed during an interview with NewsNation Thursday night what she believes led to her daughter attacking her 9-year-old brother, Zander, in the chest on Jan. 5 at their Tulsa home.

From what we found out it seems it was a medication problem, nothing else. Like a manic episode of some sort, a tearful Lyda told host Chris Cuomo.

She said her daughter became irritable when she was put back on medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

When asked why her medication had been taken off, Lyda explained that the girl had cut off her arms within a month of her return.

So I immediately took it off. After talking to the school, her doctor about her and herself we had a long conversation, she said she was feeling really pissed, cranky, angry for no reason about the medication.

So of course I took it off. Unfortunately, it was too late. The damage was done. Things like this sort of thing can happen months or even years after being off the drug like this, said the grieving mom.

She said her daughter was homeschooled for some time, but when she returned to school, her doctor advised her to get her back on medication because her grades have slipped.

And so I put it back on it. And then a few weeks later, a month later, she cut off her arms. So that’s when I was told to take her back, which I did immediately, Lyda said.

So she worked on it for five straight years and we just took it off because she wanted to see if she could do without it and do her homework without it, she explained.

Lyda said her daughter cut herself just before attacking her brother.

They were close, have always been close, they did yoga together most nights. They have gone on vacations together and travel together. They always sat next to each other. They were very close. She loved him and he loved her, he told Cuomo.

The mom said her daughter has no idea why she killed Zander.

She is heartbroken and feels very guilty but still doesn’t understand why she did it. She said it was like it wasn’t her and the team of specialists who work with her believe her after working with her for the past six months every day, Lyda said.

And I believe her too, because I know my daughter and I know it wasn’t her, she said.

Darcy Sterling, a licensed clinical social worker, told Cuomo that pieces of this puzzle are missing and was skeptical that the unspecified drug was the only factor involved in the tragedy.

I’ve never heard of a situation where a child inadvertently does something like this (with) zero warning signs, Sterling said. The meds won’t make someone homicidal like that.

Due to the girl’s age, the Tulsa district attorney’s office could not reveal any information about the case, including the charges she faces.

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