A Rockville woman was charged with murder in the stabbing death of her infant daughter in the family's Courthouse Square apartment yesterday morning, police said.

Montgomery County police said Keiko Takahashi, 29, of 1001 Rockville Pike, called police, who went to her apartment to investigate possible child abuse.

Upon arriving, police said they found her one-year-old daughter, Miki, with a stab wound in her chest. The infant was pronounced dead at Suburban Hospital at 11 a.m.

Both parents were taken into police custody but the father, Kazuyuki Takahashi, was later released. Keiko Takahashi was held at the county detention center in Rockville on a charge of murder, according to police spokesman Phil Caswell.

Police said the mother "had been depressed for the last several weeks."

Mary Kassis, who lives across the hall in the garden apartment complex, said Keiko Takahashi "was very nice, she and her baby used to come by to play. I saw them yesterday."

Other neighbors Nubur and Usha Ray, who have lived in the complex, located off Rockville Pike at West Edmonston Drive, for four years, said the Takahashis moved in in February.

Tom Mattingly, assistant engineer for the apartments, said he went to the scene at 9:35 a.m., when he saw police officers. "I ran up with the rescue crew. We opened the door. As soon as we stepped in I saw her Takahashi coming from the back. She was hysterical, crying and screaming."

He said a detective and three paramedics "came running out with the baby. The father came running up from the parking lot and asked what happened."