Adopted girl in Phoenix case died of abuse, neglect, medical report says

Apr 23, 2021, 12:02 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm
Rafael and Maribel Loera...
Rafael and Maribel Loera (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – The adopted girl whose skeletal remains were discovered by firefighters at a west Phoenix home last year died of physical abuse and neglect, according to a report released Friday by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The report lists Anna Loera’s cause of death as “child abuse, including acute and chronic skeletal injuries and neglect” and the manner of death as “homicide.” (Note: Her name has been spelled Ana in police press releases; authorities didn’t respond to KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s request for clarification.)

Her adoptive parents, 57-year-old Rafael Loera and 51-year-old Maribel Loera, were indicted last month for first-degree murder in the case.

A grand jury also indicted the couple for abandonment or concealment of a dead body and two counts each of child abuse. Rafael faces an additional count of arson of an occupied structure.

The Loeras were initially arrested on Jan. 28, 2020, after firefighters found remains after responding to a 911 call about a house fire near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road.

Anna, who would have been 13 at the time her bones were discovered, was the oldest of the Loeras’ four adopted children. The Medical Examiner’s Office report estimated her age at the time she died as 10-12.

Her bones had multiple fractures at various stages of healing, according to the report, which is dated May 28, 2020. The examination was conducted in the days after her remains were found.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety first responded to the home a week before the fire after an 11-year-old girl called 911 and said she’d been left there alone for two days.

The officers found evidence of child abuse and took the girl, the only child at the residence that day, into custody.

During a follow-up visit less than an hour before the fire, DCS removed the other two kids, a 9-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl.

Rafael initially told investigators Anna had moved to Mexico, but he later said the girl died in July 2017 after becoming ill, according to police. Court records, however, list the date of all the crimes except arson as May 1, 2016.

Prosecutors said Rafael confessed to setting the fire in an effort to end his life and burn the house down.

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

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police involved in shooting near 52nd Street and Thomas Road

Phoenix police were involved in a shooting with a suspect on Monday night, authorities said. 
20 hours ago
The Colorado River winds its way along the West Rim of the Grand Canyon in the Hualapai Indian Rese...
Associated Press

Grand Canyon starting water limitations after pumphouse outage

Grand Canyon National Park is starting water conservation measures on the North Rim due to an electrical failure involving the Roaring Springs pumphouse.
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Danny Shapiro

National Guard sets up barricade around Arizona Capitol following abortion ruling protests

The Arizona National Guard has set up razor-wire fencing around the Capitol complex in downtown Phoenix following protests over the weekend in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions.
20 hours ago
Traffic stops as thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court o...
Associated Press

Groups want court to block Arizona ‘personhood’ law in wake of Roe ruling

An emergency motion was filed seeking to block a 2021 Arizona “personhood” law that abortion rights supporters fear will be used to halt all abortions.
20 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
Kevin Stone

Sinkhole almost swallows car after pipe breaks on Phoenix street

A motorist escaped uninjured after driving into a sinkhole that opened up after a pipe broke under a Phoenix street Sunday night.
20 hours ago
From left, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (Getty Images Photo) and House Minority Leader Regina...
Kevin Stone

Arizona party leaders laud state budget as bipartisan achievement

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Arizona House both came out of budget negotiations with good things to say about the agreement.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Adopted girl in Phoenix case died of abuse, neglect, medical report says