ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix couple charged with first-degree murder in child’s death

Apr 2, 2021, 3:05 PM | Updated: 3:14 pm
Rafael and Maribel Loera (MCSO Photos)...
Rafael and Maribel Loera (MCSO Photos)
(MCSO Photos)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix couple was charged with first-degree murder in the death of their adopted child more than a year after their initial arrest, authorities said Friday.

Rafael Loera, 57, and Maribel Loera, 51, were charged in the death of 13-year-old Ana Loera, whose remains were found Jan. 28, 2020, by firefighters responding to a report of smoke at their home near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road.

The Loeras were also charged with multiple counts of child abuse, concealment of a dead body and arson of an occupied structure, Phoenix police said.

The couple had been in custody on child abuse charges prior to Friday’s announcement.

Rafael Loera previously told police that Ana became ill in July 2017 and that he waited several days before trying to seek medical attention.

The child allegedly was sick for several days before she died as Rafael Loera was taking her to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, according to court documents.

Rafael Loera then returned home with the child and didn’t contact authorities over fear of losing their other children, court documents say.

The child was wrapped in a sheet and placed in the attic, according to court documents.

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.

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 a 4-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy and went there.

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.

Loera was also asked by investigators about the 13-year-old adopted girl in the couple’s care. Loera said he falsely told authorities the girl moved to Mexico before admitting that she was dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York on Sept...
KTAR.com

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill requiring schools to teach about 9/11

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday signed a bill to make it mandatory for schools to teach students about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
10 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Chandler adds languages to bilingual pay policy for employees

The city of Chandler on Thursday announced a new bilingual pay policy for employees in an effort to better its customer service provider to Chandler residents and customers. 
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Brophy College Preparatory)...
Associated Press

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix reports widespread cheating

The principal of Brophy College Preparatory says the prestigious private Phoenix high school has learned of “widespread even pervasive” cheating in its all-male student body.
1 day ago
Clouds pass over drought-stricken Lake Mead on May 10, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Ar...
Associated Press

Tucson willing to take 20% less water to help Lake Mead shortage

The Tucson City Council included its potential willingness to take 20% less CAP water to keep more in the reservoir.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo / State Farm Stadium)...
Associated Press

Glendale adopts new short-term rental regulations ahead of Super Bowl

Glendale has preemptively adopted rules regulating short-term rental properties before the city welcomes visitors for the 2023 Super Bowl.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sees significant jobs increase in April, per employment report

The state of Arizona saw a 13,100 jobs increase in the month of April, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority's monthly report.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
Phoenix couple charged with first-degree murder in child’s death