Police: Dead toddler found hidden under blankets in an SUV; couple lived out of vehicle

A man and women are under investigation for a child’s death in an incident that occurred after authorities noticed a SUV parked the wrong way in Rancho Cordova, California, on Wednesday.

Crimesider reports that a sheriff’s deputy approached the SUV and noticed a man and woman, identified as Angela Phakhin, 27, and Untwan Smith, 46. standing close it. According to Sacramento Sheriff Sgt. Tony Turnbull, the officer ran a check on the pair and discovered that Smith had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

“He stopped to talk to them, ran a records check, the male happened to have an outstanding warrant out of the state of Arkansas.”

The officer then searched the vehicle and found a deceased toddler girl covered up in a pile of blankets towards the back of the SUV.

“The child was unresponsive and declared deceased at the scene…There were no obvious signs of trauma, so they’re still in the beginning stages of this death investigation,” Turnbull added. “Officers secured the scene and called detectives of the Sheriff’s Child Abuse Bureau and the Sacramento County Coroner to begin their investigation.”

Both adults were arrested and charged with child endangerment and conspiracy. The child’s cause of death has not yet been determined. Investigators said they think the couple moved to California in February and have been living out of the SUV ever since.

“It’s just tragic, I mean, definitely a tragedy and we need to find out how this happened and prevent it,” neighbor Scott Ecklund said.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office at (916) 874-5115 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP.

Check back with Crime Online as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office]