ASHEVILLE, NC — Police have a charged a North Carolina mother with murdering her two young daughters with a hatchet before trying to use it on herself.

Neighbors say that on Saturday they heard blood curdling screams coming from the home of Naiyana Patel. She and her husband have run the Ash Pantry Food Store for the last couple years and had recently moved into the home with their two daughters, 8-year-old Jiya, and four year old Piya.

Her husband, Lalji Patel, called 911 after returning home from work Saturday morning and finding his two daughters dead and his wife injured. Police say Naiyana used a hatchet to murder the two girls before using it to repeatedly strike herself in the head.

Naiyana was rushed to the hospital where she is recovering, despite her wishes to die, with a guard posted outside her door. She told police that she wasn’t responsible for murdering her kids, but rather a “ghost killed her children.”

Not surprisingly, it’s being reported that Naiyana has some mental issues. She’s been seeing a psychiatrist who is treating her for depression after her last pregnancy did not reach full-term. She had even switched medications because the initial prescription did not seem to be helping.

Ltnt Welch stated that this crime has been particularly tough on officers.

“Over years, we get pretty good at just compartmentalizing these kinds of things — shoving them away for another day. This one wasn’t going in that box.”

School counselors have been made available at the schools the girls attended. Their funeral service will be held at noon Thursday at Groce Funeral Home on Long Shoals Road.

What I always find disturbing about stories in which a mental illness or medication may have played a role in someone killing another, is the thought of the accused being cured. I think I’d rather continue thinking a ghost hacked up my kids rather than dealing with the fact I pulled a Delbert Grady on them.

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