Post-natal depression may have been a factor when a mother slit the throat of her 6-week-old baby daughter.
The woman's 7-year-old daughter and husband left for a hospital appointment early in the morning and returned home to the grisly scene.
The pair walked into the bedroom and saw the mother standing over the body of the baby.
The mother was taken away from the house screaming and in handcuffs.
The 26-year-old Sengalese woman has been charged with murder and will remain in custody before appearing before Newcastle Local Court today, Fairfax Media report.
The neck wound was the only injury found on the baby girl and a kitchen knife will be analysed as detectives attempt to discover what went on behind closed doors.
Realtor Bob English who placed the family in their rented home described them as "lovely", while neighbourhood residents reported hearing a child screaming earlier that morning.
A resident also reported seeing a relative coming to take some children away.
The 7-year-old daughter was in the care of other relatives as arrangements for her ongoing welfare were made.