FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana woman who admitted to fatally smothering her two children was charged Tuesday in the death of a former neighbor.
Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards also filed a weapons charge against Amber Pasztor, 30, of Fort Wayne, in the September slaying of 66-year-old Frank Macomber.
Pasztor has admitted shooting Macomber in the head and leaving his body in woods near her parents’ home in Allen County, according to court documents.
Pasztor is due to be sentenced June 29 to 130 years in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill to two counts of murder in the deaths of 7-year-old Lilliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor. She entered the plea June 1 after an Elkhart County judge ruled she was competent to stand trial. She underwent three psychological evaluations to determine whether she was able to assist with her defense.
Pasztor abducted her children on Sept. 26 from their custodial grandparents’ home, prompting authorities to issue an Amber Alert. Her children’s bodies were found later that day inside Macomber’s stolen car parked behind the Elkhart Police Department, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Fort Wayne. Pasztor had flagged down an officer and showed him the bodies.
According to court documents, she told officers she drove the children around northern Indiana and southern Michigan, taking them to a park and a restaurant before smothering them with her hands.
Pasztor told police that she shot Macomber with a hunting rifle, and she gave officers directions to the spot where she had buried Macomber under a tent that the two had bought Sept. 25, court documents filed in Allen Superior Court said.
Pasztor told police she killed Macomber to “send a message to the ‘cartels’ not to mess with her,” court documents said. “The defendant stated that she knew Frank was setting her up to the cartels.”
Indiana Department of Child Services records released by a juvenile court say that Pasztor killed her children because she felt they were being threatened with violence by members of a Mexican cartel. Those records also say she suffered from untreated bipolar disorder.
The children’s father, Rene Hernandez, 24, of Fort Wayne, was found dead in a wooded area in neighboring Whitley County in June 2010. His body had been frozen and cut into two pieces, police said. That slaying has never been solved.