Ad
Ad

Update: Three children identified after mother suffocates them to death while singing to them [Police]

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner in Arizona released the names of the three children allegedly suffocated by their mother on Monday.

The three victims, all under the age of four, have been identified as Zane Ezri Henry, 3, Mireya Henry, 1, and Catalaya Kyeana Rios, 7 months, according to AZ Family.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 22-year-old Rachel Henry is behind bars on felony murder charges. She’s been identified as the mother to the three children. The incident happened at a home near 24th Street and Vineyard in Phoenix on Monday evening.

Authorities arrived at the home after a call about “unknown trouble,” and found the children unresponsive in the living room, lying on a couch. First responders attempted life-saving measures without luck. The children were pronounced dead at the scene.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

According to court documents, Henry admitted that she first killed Mireya, and when Zane saw his little sister kicking and flailing about, he tried to protect her.

“Rachel stated that the one year old female kicked as she did so while the three year old male yelled no at her in an attempt to get her to stop. Rachel knew she had killed the one year old female when she stopped kicking Rachel,” court documents read.

“The three year old male attempted to help the one year old female by punching Rachel to no avail. “

The suspect said she went to kill the 3-year-old next, court documents state, but waited until a family member stopped playing with him. She then took him to a bedroom and pretended to change his underpants.

Henry straddled Zane with her legs and pinched his nose and mouth, prosecutors allege. She told police that the boy struggled and tried to hit and kick her. As the little boy clawed at his mother’s chest while desperately trying to breathe, Henry sang to him, according to court documents.

The suspect then fed the 7-month-old girl until she fell asleep, then sang to the baby while placing her hand over the infant’s nose and mouth.

Once the baby stopped moving, Henry placed all three children in the living room in a napping position.

According to AZ Central, Henry lost her mother in 2018 and turned to drugs to cope. After her mother’s death, the family moved from Oklahoma to Arizona, where she spent most of her days inside the home with three children. She didn’t work and had no money, she told a judge.

Prior to moving to Arizona, social services took the children away from Henry temporarily due to drug addiction by both her and her fiance.

Rachel Henry
Rachel Henry [Police Handout]
During an interview with police, a family member told authorities that Henry battled a meth addiction.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed with AZ Central that at the time of their deaths, the children were no longer under supervision by the agency.

“At the time of their deaths, the children of Rachel Henry were not in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. OKDHS has been contacted by Arizona law enforcement and is cooperating fully with their efforts. Since DHS is unable to conduct an investigation into the deaths of these children, Oklahoma state law prohibits the dissemination of any information related to this matter.”

Meanwhile, Adam Holik, an Oklahoma resident who remembered Henry when she lived in Prague, described the woman as being sketchy.

“She always seemed kinda sketchy,” Holik said. “I mean, she seemed nice but it’s one of them where I wouldn’t have let them in my house…..I think they were involved in some not so great things. Drugs mostly.”

Henry told investigators that two other adults in the home, her fiance and the children’s great-aunt, sat in another room while she killed him, without having any idea the pain she was inflicting on the children.

The story continues to develop. Check back for updates.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode. 

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Feature Photo: Zane, Mireya, & Catalaya/YouTube Screenshot via AZFamily]