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Phoenix police say mom sang to young children while killing them

Rachel Henry (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say a mother who reportedly admitted to killing her three young children sang to them while suffocating them.

According to police documents, 22-year-old Rachel Henry killed her 3-year-old boy, 1-year-old girl and 7-month old girl on Monday afternoon by smothering them.

Henry first killed the 1-year-old female by placing her hand over the child’s mouth while the 3-year-old boy screamed at and punched his mother in an attempt to stop the assault, according to police documents.

Henry then took the 3-year-old child into a back bedroom to change his underwear and suffocated the child with her hands and body weight while singing to him while he struggled, according to police documents.

Finally, Henry put the 7-month-old baby to sleep before placing her hand over the baby’s mouth and singing to her until she passed away, police documents said.

Henry then placed the children in the living room in positions as if they were sleeping, according to police documents.

Authorities responded to a call around 7:30 p.m. Monday at a residence near Baseline Road and 24th Street where the kids were found unresponsive in the living room.

Henry was booked on three counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday morning.

According to Phoenix police, officers attempted CPR but were unable to revive the children.

The children, who police said had no obvious signs of trauma, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members said they last saw the children alive at about 2 p.m., according to police documents.

Police interviewed Henry, the 30-year-old father and a 49-year-old relative, who were at the home. First responders were told the children recently had been ill.

Family members told police Henry had a methamphetamine addiction and had recently been acting strange, according to police documents.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told KTAR News 92.3 FM the children being unresponsive was not the result of a drowning, as was originally reported.

Police said the family had recently moved to Arizona from Oklahoma.

Bond for Henry was set at $3 million.

KTAR News’ Jim Cross and Julie Levin contributed to this report.

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