Rachel Henry Phoenix Arizona woman charged with smothering to death her three young children after previously losing custody and having a history of meth drug use.
Rachel Milan Henry was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder Monday after police say she admitted to killing her three children under the age of 4 according to a release by the City of Phoenix Police Department.
Police identified the victims as a 3 year old boy, Zane Henry and his sibling sisters aged 1 year old, Mireya Henry and 7 months old, Catalaya Rios.
During questioning, Henry conceded smothering her three children and placing them on the living room couch, ‘as if they were taking a nap,’ according to court documents.
The children’s deaths follow the mother having previously lost custody of her son and daughter because of drug addiction issues KTVK-TV reports.
Phoenix mother smothers her children one by one:
AZCentral cited a family member telling police they last saw the children alive at a home near 24th Street and Baseline Road around 2 p.m. Monday. Henry, who police said lived with the children’s 30-year-old father and a 49-year-old woman identified as an ‘aunt,’ told them she would put the children down for a nap while they were gone. The aunt is understood to be the homeowner.
As per arresting documents, Henry told police of smothering her 1-year-old daughter first. She wrestled with the child before placing her hand over the child’s mouth while the infant continued to kick in protest. Henry’s 3-year-old son yelled at his mother to stop and tried punching her in the face. Henry continued to smother the baby until she stopped breathing. She left the body in the back bedroom.
Henry then chased her 3-year-old son but told police she was stopped when her aunt and the father of the children returned home.
One of the family members played with one of the two children for a bit before Henry took the older boy into a back bedroom to change his underpants. She placed her son on the floor, straddled him with her legs and proceeded to smother him using her weight and by covering his mouth and nose with her hands until he died.
‘Rachel described singing to the 3-year-old as he scratched her chest and pinched her,’ the report detailed.
And the horror continued.
Police arrive to find surreal horror:
The probable cause statement says Henry next fed the 7-month-old female a bottle in her bedroom until she fell asleep. She sang her a song while again smothering the child with her hand as the child’s father and the unidentified woman were in the next room.
Henry placed the bodies of the three children on the living room floor as though they were taking a nap, the report says. She didn’t tell the father or her aunt what happened.
The children were found deceased laid out on the living room couch as if they were simply taking a nap.
Both Henry and the father of the children were transported to the Phoenix police station to be interviewed. At some point, police said Henry admitted to killing the children.
Family members told police Henry, who has a history of methamphetamine addiction, had been ‘acting strange’ the past several days.
How did killer mom regain custody of her children again?
Court documents indicate she was not under the influence of drugs.
Upon being booked at Maricopa County jail, the mother appeared at court the following day where she was formally charged with three counts of first-degree homicide.
A representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office argued that Henry should be held on a $3 million cash-only bail given the nature of the charges. Prosecutors said the fact that Henry was unemployed as concerns that she might flee the area if released. Henry recently moved to Arizona from Oklahoma in 2019.
Prosecutors also noted Henry apparently admitted to having a history of addiction to methamphetamine and that her children were previously removed from her care. This likely occurred in Oklahoma as the Arizona Department of Child Safety told The Arizona Republic it had no previous contacts with Henry.
Unclear is how Henry was once again able to retain custody of her children. Also unclear is whether there had been a threat or possibility of her losing custody once again?
The judge ultimately gave Henry a secured bond of $3 million, meaning she could bail out of prison by providing a collateral of 10%.
The judge told her that if she does provide the necessary bond, she won’t be allowed to possess any weapons or drugs and will be required to attend all future court proceedings.
The woman retorted she had no job or income prospects or any known way to procure said funds.
Posted Henry in 2014 on Facebook: ‘Life can’t be tamed and it isn’t a game. Expect the unexpected. Don’t let your guard down for one second if you do life will come back and knock your lights out. … Love is the reason you keep your guard up though. Until someone comes along and proves that they deserve it. But you live, laugh, and learn along the way. Life is too short to be anything but happy. So that is why you have to live life to the fullest and not allow anyone put you down. … You also have to stand up for yourself and not let anyone take advantage of you or what you do. Just ignore the negative things and have fun!”
Henry’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 28.