PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Four children were found fatally stabbed in their beds and their mother was in critical condition with a stab wound that may have been self-inflicted, police said.

The children, all under 12, had been stabbed in the neck, Police Chief Carl Verrastro said, as was their mother, 36-year-old Maria Isabella Amaya, a native of El Salvador.

She had been under psychiatric care for about eight months, Verrastro said.

The youngsters' father, Halley William Amaya, 33, came to a neighbor Wednesday and asked her to call a doctor to the home, said the neighbor, Andrea Orphanos.

'''She killed the little ones and tried to kill herself,''' Orphanos quoted Amaya as telling her.

Verrastro said an arrest was expected today. He stressed that other people were not at risk.

''I don't want the community's imagination to run wild that a Jack the Ripper is at large,'' he said.

Police found the bodies of the children - Halley Jr., 11, Jessica, 8, Christopher, 6, and Edward, 3 1/2 - on beds throughout the house.

They had been dead ''for some time,'' said Verrastro.

Mrs. Amaya was found alive on another bed and rushed to the hospital.

The Amayas and their oldest child came eight years ago from El Salvador to the United States, where the other three children were born, Verrastro said.

Orphanos said they were ''very nice people, hard-working people.''

Port Chester, a village of about 25,000 people, is north of New York City near the Connecticut border.