2 parents arrested after human remains found in Phoenix home
Jan 29, 2020, 8:37 AM | Updated: Jan 30, 2020, 7:21 am
PHOENIX — Phoenix police said two parents were arrested Tuesday after human skeletal remains were found in a home that was the site of an ongoing child abuse investigation.
Rafael Loera, 56, was arrested on charges of child abuse, arson, endangerment and concealment of human body parts, according to the city.
His wife Maribel Loera, 50, was also arrested and charged with child abuse.
Sgt. Maggie Cox said the Phoenix Fire Department responded to the Loeras’ home near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road on Tuesday after they received a report of smoke.
Just got on scene of @phoenixpolice investigation near 59th Ave & Camelback. We’re told skeletal remains were found inside a home following a fire and AFTER several children were removed from home for allegations of child abuse @abc15 pic.twitter.com/YIV1eXtbPM
— John Genovese (@JEGenovese) January 29, 2020
Breaking: Human skeletal remains found inside a home after a fire yesterday near 59th Ave & Camelback. Homicide investigators at the scene. PIO on scene with media update in the next hour. pic.twitter.com/9Kr7nhPPOR
— Phoenix Police Department (@phoenixpolice) January 29, 2020
Firefighters entered the home and found the remains, Cox said. It was later determined they were the remains of a child.
Officers had first responded to the home on Jan. 20 after an 11-year-old girl called to say she was home alone.
The officers found evidence of child abuse and took the girl, the only child at the residence that day, into custody, Cox said.
Darren DaRonco, a spokesman for the Department of Child Safety, said the agency learned that more children lived in the home after removing the girl. The department obtained a court order to remove remove a 4-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy and went there on Tuesday.
The call of smoke came about an hour later.
During his initial court appearance, prosecutor Sarah Corcoran said Rafael Loera confessed to setting the fire in an effort to end his life and burn the house down.
“He is alleged to have done nothing to prevent the abuse of the victims although he allegedly admitted that he knew that it was happening and he allegedly admitted that he left the victims in the care of the co-suspect knowing that the abuse was happening,” Corcoran said, adding that he confessed to hiding the corpse.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office also said Maribel Loera allegedly had about $4,800 cash in her purse and passports when the couple was arrested.
Bail was set at $200,000 cash for Maribel Loera. Prosecutors had requested $350,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.