Arizona mother charged with murder after two children found dead
PHOENIX — An Arizona mother will be charged with murder on Tuesday after her two children were found dead, a law enforcement official said.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said 20-year-old Brittany Velasquez was arrested and charged with murder after evidence indicated there was foul play.
Deputies were called to a home near Mary Road and U.S. 60 in Superior about 11:15 p.m. on Monday night.
A 2-year-old boy and a 10-month-old girl were found deceased in a car, buckled into safety seats.
Superior Police Department Sgt. Christian Ensley, the town’s interim police chief, said Velasquez made the 911 call.
An autopsy will be conducted.
Sheriff Mark Lamb with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said more details will be uncovered from the toxicology report, but added that he was “not aware” of any gunshot or stab wounds on the victims.
Ensley said police had been called to the home about seven or eight times in the past two years.
Child protective services were called to the home in January after police responded to a call of a theft, but officials did not take any action.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety said it had received two past reports about the children, but never found evidence of child abuse or neglect and had no reason to remove the siblings from their mother’s custody.
Officials were told Velasquez would allegedly leave her children for days at a time in the care of others, sometimes without informing them.
“This is a devastating blow,” Ensley said. “This is a small community. You can go anywhere around here and find people who know that family, not hard to do.”
Velasquez is being held with a $2 million bond.
The sheriff’s office is currently heading the investigation.
The names of the children will not be released.
Superior is about 70 miles east of Phoenix.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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