Woman who jumped to her death while holding baby was Colonie grad

Thursday, March 14, 2013
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The woman who jumped from the window of a New York City apartment while holding her baby was a Colonie High School graduate.

Cynthia Wachenheim was holding onto her 10-month-old son, Keston, when she went down eight stories on Wednesday in Harlem in what appears to be a suicide. A witness said the baby was able to survive the fall after initially being cushioned by her mother's body when they hit the ground.

Wachenheim, who was also known as Cindy, grew up in Colonie and her family has strong ties to the Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady. She graduated from Colonie High School in 1986 and went on to graduate in 1991 from the University of Buffalo, according to its alumni website. She eventually got a law degree from Columbia Law School.

"I knew her as a very wonderful person and I'm heartbroken," said Congregation Gates of Heaven Rabbi Matt Cutler.

Her engagement to Hal Bacharach was announced in 2009.

Keston was transported to a local hospital by police officers who responded to the call. The baby was in critical, but stable condition on Wednesday night, and is expected to live.

Wachenheim was working in New York City as an associate court attorney for the state Supreme Court.

She is survived by her husband, her son, her sister, Deborah Wachenheim, and her brother, Ron Wachenheim.

Her father, Kurt Wachenheim, a former spokesman for the state police, died in 2011 and her mother, Estelle Wachenheim, died in 2002.

A search of Wachenheim's apartment found a possible suicide note, which included recognition that her plan was “evil,” according to a person who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press.

Material from The Associated Press was used for this report.

Reach Gazette reporter David Lombardo at 395-3134, or @poozer87 on Twitter.

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