BURLINGTON CITY — The woman facing attempted murder charges for allegedly throwing a five-year-old girl in front of a train called the Courier-Post newspaper from a psychiatric hospital, saying she felt like “it was just a sacrifice.”

Autumn Matacchiera, 20, of Hainesport, is charged with attempted murder.Submitted photo 

Autumn Matacchiera, 20, of Hainesport, was arrested Jan. 27 on the light rail platform on West Broad Street after police jumped onto the tracks and got the train to stop before it reached the girl. Authorities said the girl, whom Matacchiera did not know, had a scratch and bruises.

Matacchiera’s mother, Laura Matacchiera, told NJ.com Jan. 29 that her daughter has mental health issues and has been in and out of residential treatment facilities, but had never harmed anyone before.

After learning that Matacchiera had called a Courier-Post reporter from the Ancora Psychiatric Hospital where she is being held, her parents told the newspaper that doctors have described their daughter as having autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder.

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Matacchiera told the newspaper that earlier on Jan. 27, she couldn’t stop thinking that making a sacrifice like those she had read about in the Bible would repair her relationship with an estranged relative.

The Courier-Post reported Matacchiera said she did not know whether what she had done was wrong, though she has been told human sacrifice is different than animal sacrifice. She also said she regretted her actions and believed she should go to jail for life.

Her attorney, Brenda Maneri, told the newspaper that her client should continue to get the treatment she needs for her mental health issues, and so Maneri will argue that she not go to state prison.

Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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