Mother, 22, ‘sang to her son, 3, daughter, 1, and seven-month-old baby girl as she smothered them in their Arizona home before propping their bodies on a sofa as if they were napping’
- Phoenix mother Rachel Henry was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday
- Her son, three and daughters, two and seven months, were found dead Monday
- Authorities said Henry admitted to singing to the kids while smothering them
- She allegedly killed the one-year-old first before smothering the three-year-old
- Henry, 22, allegedly fed her seven-month-old before smothering little girl last
- She then reportedly propped their bodies on a sofa as if they were sleeping
- Authorities said Tuesday evening that Henry also admitted to being a meth user
- She also reportedly told cops that her kids had been removed from her home
- Henry was arrested after confessing to all three murder during questioning
Rachel Henry (pictured), 22, who confessed to killing her two young daughters and son was reportedly a meth user whose children had previously been removed from her home
A mother from Arizona smothered her three young children to death while singing them lullabies as two of her relatives sat in the living room unaware of what she was doing.
Rachel Henry, 22, from Phoenix, was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of murder after the bodies of her three-, one-, and seven-month old children were found propped up on her sofa ‘as if they were sleeping’.
According to police, Henry admitted smothering the children starting with her one-year-old daughter by placing her hands over the girl’s mouth and nose until she stopped moving.
Henry said the girl kicked while she was being smothered in front of her three-year-old brother, who screamed ‘no’ and punched her but to no avail.
Henry told officers that she left the girl’s body at the back of the house and chased her son around until two relatives arrived at the property.
As they sat in the living room, Henry caught the boy and took him upstairs on the pretense of putting him to bed before also smothering him.
Investigators say the boy pinched and scratched her as he died, but was unable to save himself.
A probable cause statement filed in court by police and later made public said Henry (center) had admitted to deliberately smothering each child – two girls, aged seven months and a year, and a three-year-old boy – starting with the older daughter
She then went to find the seven-month-old girl, gave her a bottle to feed on until she fell asleep, then smothered her as well.
Henry said she sung lullabies to all three children while they were dying.
She then placed all three bodies on the couch ‘as if they were sleeping’. Police were called to the property some time later to reports of unspecified ‘trouble’.
Officers said they were called by one of Henry’s relatives.
Authorities offered no possible motive for the killings, but court records cited one of the other adults in the house as having told police that Henry ‘had a methamphetamine addiction and had been acting strange the past several days’.
It was also reported earlier on Tuesday that the children had previously been removed from their family home because Henry’s alleged addiction.
A representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said late Tuesday that Henry apparently admitted to having a history of addiction to methamphetamine and that her children were previously removed from her care, according to AZ Central.
Authorities said the alleged drug abuse likely occurred in Oklahoma because the Arizona Department of Child Safety said it had no previous contacts with Henry.
The family moved to Arizona over the summer from Oklahoma.
Video shot by the station AZ Family showed Henry dressed in a white Hazmat suit with her hands restrained behind her back, being brought to the 4th Avenue Jail, where she is being held without bond.
Henry said nothing in response to questions from reporters asking her to address her children’s deaths.
Henry was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday (she is pictured in jail uniform)
A makeshift memorial is set up near a home where Henry was arrested on suspicion of killing her three children after they were found dead inside the family home
Responding officers found the three children dead in the living room, authorities said. The children were unresponsive and were pronounced dead after officers administered CPR and firefighters provided first aid
Police were called to this address on East Vineyard Road after getting a report from one of the parents signaling ‘unknown trouble’
Those who knew Henry while she lived in the town of Prague, Oklahoma, said she was a pleasant woman who they trusted to look after their own children.
Anthony Repsher, whose wife Tiffani Hardy features in photos with Henry, said he had known her for around six years.
Speaking to Fox10, he said Henry would be the last person he would suspect of harming her own children.
‘As a matter of fact, she’d even babysit my children. I’ve never noticed any kind of depression or anger or hostility towards children or anyone else.’
Henry initially claimed an illness may have been a factor because the youngsters had been sick earlier in the night.
According to reports, officers first received an ‘unknown trouble call’ from one of the parents and when police arrived at the home, they were greeted by three adults.
The 30-year-old father and a 49-year-old relative identified in redacted court records as the homeowner and an aunt were also taken in for questioning.
A neighbor told local reporters he went outside after hearing a helicopter above the residential area.
Officers arrived at the scene in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday evening and found the three young children unresponsive
Henry initially claimed an illness may have been a factor because the youngsters had been sick earlier in the night
Neighbors said the property where the children were found appeared to be a landscaping business, with trucks often arriving and leaving. Pictured (above) police at the scene Monday
David Ware said the property where the children were found included a landscaping business or plant nursery, with trucks often coming in and out.
He told AZ Central: ‘I’ve always just assumed it was an active business. I’ve never seen children on the property.’
Ware said that ‘cops went frantic’ at the scene, adding: ‘I freak out, you panic. You want to make sure there’s not a present danger to your children.’
Sgt Fortune described the scene that first responders found as ‘very difficult’.
First responders who tried to save the children’s lives were sent home early after the traumatic event.
The family lives in a neighborhood with old homes of wood or stucco, where a white Spanish-style church graces a corner.
But there is new construction going up all around, with a golf course and several housing developments of single-family homes priced at more than $500,000.
Court records showed that Henry is being held in lieu of bail of $3million.
It was not immediately clear if Henry had an attorney. Her next court date is scheduled for January 31.
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