Arizona mother faces murder charges after 2 children found dead inside vehicle
29 March, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Gregory Stephens
Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Navideh Forghani says the children found in the vehicle at a home in the town of Superior were 2 years old and 10 months old.
The sheriff's office said in its initial statement that evidence "indicated foul play", but during the news conference, both Ensley and Lamb declined to discuss a possible motive.
Authorities have not released the children's cause of death, or identified the victims. Superior interim Police Chief Christian Esterly said one of his officers had called the state welfare agency in January to report an allegation that Velasquez was leaving the children for days in the care of her grandmother, who had trouble walking and getting around the house.
Some relatives of the children were inside the home when authorities went to crime scene late Monday night but Forghani said she could not provide information about the circumstances of how the children were placed or left in the auto or a motive into their killings.
Relatives told KSAZ that they had called the Department of Child Services on several occasions out of fear for the children's safety, saying they thought Velasquez was mentally unstable.
The agency said in a statement late Tuesday that officials investigating a January 5 neglect report determined Brittany Velasquez had a job and that the apartment where she then lived in the city of Mesa had everything needed for her children. More information is expected later on Tuesday afternoon. "There were no legal grounds to remove the children from the parent's custody".
Lamb said there are numerous small, economically depressed mining towns like Superior around central Arizona's Pinal County. The children were still strapped into their vehicle seats.
Broken wooden furniture, cardboard boxes and a rusted barbeque grill littered the brown, dried up grass in the front yard.
Authorities have not said how the children died. The nearby mine is closed now but a mining company is trying to reopen it.
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