Phoenix mother accused of murdering 2 daughters with prescription drugs

Sep 15, 2021, 10:43 AM | Updated: 10:43 am
Retta Cruse...
Retta Renee Cruse (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix mother was booked Tuesday on two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing her two daughters with prescription drugs last week, according to court documents.

Retta Renee Cruse, 35, had been hospitalized with what police believe were self-inflicted stab wounds since the Sept. 8 incident in an apartment near 13th Street and Mountain View Road.

According to the probable cause statement, police responding to a 911 call found the two deceased girls, ages 4 and 9, on a bed with their arms around each other as if they’d been placed in that position. There were no signs of injuries.

Police found Cruse barricaded in another room, naked with multiple stab wounds and a knife nearby.

Although the toxicology results are still pending, investigators said they found a bottle of oxycodone and other evidence that Cruse used over-the-counter and prescription drugs to sedate and overdose the girls.

Police said they found a signed letter with handwriting that matched Cruse’s driver’s license signature saying she was worried about losing custody of the girls after a recent hearing.

Police arrested Cruse around 2 p.m. Tuesday at John C. Lincoln Medical Center.

Her bond was set at $2 million. Her status conference was scheduled for Monday, and her preliminary hearing for Sept. 23.

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Phoenix mother accused of murdering 2 daughters with prescription drugs