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Tempe mother who told police voices told her to kill her children is arrested

Yui Inoue (Tempe Police Department)

PHOENIX — Tempe police found the bodies of two children at an apartment after a woman flagged an officer down early Saturday morning letting him know she was hearing voices telling her to kill her children, authorities said.

The mother of the children, 40-year-old Yui Inoue, has been arrested and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Officers arrived at the woman’s apartment near Mill Avenue and Hermosa Drive around 7 a.m. and found the bodies of a 9-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy near the doorway, according to Sgt. Steven Carbajal.

There were significant injuries to the children, including numerous lacerations, incised wounds and some amputations, consistent with a violent attack and defensive wounds, Carbajal said Sunday in a press release.

Detectives later found a meat cleaver with a 6-inch blade in the woman’s car.

Inoue told a Japanese interpreter she woke up with blood on her hands and arms around 4:30 a.m. after falling asleep with them when the husband left, according to authorities.

The woman didn’t believe she killed them, but said that she could not remember.

Police responded earlier that morning to the same apartment about a domestic dispute between Inoue and her husband. No arrests were made, but they were separated.

Inoue’s husband was contacted and told police that he had left the house shortly after midnight and slept in a vehicle because Inoue had threatened to stab him after an argument about her wanting more money for her upcoming move to Japan.

The pair had filed for divorce in April 2021, but were residing in separate rooms in the same apartment.

Officers noted that the children were safe in their beds before they left the apartment, and Inoue’s husband said he did not have concerns about the woman harming the children at the time, according to authorities.

The officers that responded to the scene experienced emotional trauma due to observing the trauma done to the young children, according to authorities.

Care 7 and Tempe Police Department peer support are working with those officers following the incident.

No additional information was provided and the investigation is ongoing.

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