A police report offers shocking and horrific details about what led to a mother, Rachel Henry killing her three young children at their Arizona home on a Monday night.
According to the AZ Family, Rachel Henry admitted to smothering all three of her kids, one by one, even singing to some of them as she covered their mouths and noses.
Henry, 22, faces three counts of first-degree murder. She is being held on a $3 million bond.
Prosecutors said they requested the large bond because Henry has no real ties to Arizona (she moved to Phoenix from Oklahoma in 2019) and the victims had been taken away from her in the past due to her meth addiction.
Police said Henry admitted killing her 3-year-old son Zane Henry, 1-year-old daughter Miraya Henry and 7-month-old daughter Catalaya Rios. The young children were found dead inside the family’s home near 24th Street and Southern Avenue Monday night.
Police said Henry she began with her 1-year-old daughter.
“Rachel was playing with the 1-year-old female and was wrestling on top of her,” according to the report. “Rachel felt the one-year-old female’s breathing was obstructed but continued to impede her breath by placing her hand over the 1-year-old female’s mouth.”
The victim would have turned 2 next week, according to police.
Police said Henry told them the girl was kicking at her during the act, and that her 3-year-old son was yelling at her “in an attempt to get her to stop.”
He even reportedly tried to stop his mom “by punching her to no avail,” states the report.
“Rachel knew she had killed the 1-year-old female when she stopped kicking,” states the police report.
The police report goes on to say that Rachel then “chased the three year old male” but was reportedly “interrupted” when the other relatives returned home. One of those relatives then spent some time playing with the little boy.
But a short time later, “Rachel took the 3-year-old male into a back bedroom where she changed his underpants,” stated the police report.
Once there, she “placed the 3-year-old male on the floor of the bedroom, straddled him with one of her legs and placed her hand over his nose and mouth.” She then “used her weight on the 3-year-old male,” continued the report.
The police report goes on to say that Henry was “singing to the 3-year-old male as he was scratching her chest and pinching her while she placed her hand over his nose and mouth.”
“Rachel used her weight on top of the 3-year-old male, straddling him to smother him until he died,” states the police report.
Police said Henry moved on to her infant daughter, to whom she first gave a bottle.
“Rachel fed the 7-month-old female a bottle in her bedroom until she fell asleep. Rachel sang her a song as she placed her hand over her face and impeded her breath. Rachel sang to the 7-month-old until she became unconscious and died,” states the police report.
The police report describes what Henry said she did next.
“Rachel placed all of the children in a position on the living room couch as if they were taking a nap.” She said she did not tell any of the other family members about what happened.
Police and firefighters were later called to the home, where they discovered that all three children were dead. Henry was later arrested and booked into jail on three counts of first-degree murder.
Police will continue to investigate what led up to this tragedy.
Investigators will be looking into whether postpartum depression might have been a factor.
“It’s mind-blowing, it’s shocking. It’s one of those things where you start asking yourself, why didn’t she reach out for help?” said psychologist Dr. John Delatorre. “Could it be mental illness? Absolutely it could be mental illness.
Could it be that the person saw no way out? That here they have to take care of so many children and they don’t have enough resources to care for them?”
According to the police report, Henry “had a methamphetamine addiction and had been acting strange the past several days.”
During her first court appearance Tuesday, we also learned that her kids had been removed from her home in the past.
“My understanding is that her kids had previously been removed from her home by DCS related to her drug addiction,” a county prosecutor told the judge.
Grieving father talks about tragedy after fiancee arrested for killing their 3 kids
Pedro Rios talked about the family tragedy for the first time. “I’ll never get to see my kids smile or laugh,” said Rios. “I wont get to teach them to ride a bike or read a book.”
Rios claims he had no indication Henry would do something like this. The couple and their kids had recently moved to Arizona from Oklahoma and were doing fine living with his aunt in Phoenix, according to Rios. Then – the unthinkable happened.
Rios said he came home from work January 20th and played with his two older kids for about a half an hour, before their mother told him she was going to put them down for a nap.
Rios said he dozed off, and after he woke up was on the phone with his grandmother. Moments later, he pulled back the sheet from his youngest daughter, who he thought was sleeping on the couch. She wasn’t moving.
“I picked her up and was like, grandma, what do I do?” said Rios. “She was like, give it CPR, and I said I don’t how.” Rios remembers running outside to get his aunt, who discovered the other two children. “It hurts me that I didn’t even realize my other two kids lay next to me,” said Rios. “I just seen my daughter, my smallest daughter.”
Court papers state that Henry admitted to smothering all three of the children and then laid them on the living room couch as if they were taking a nap. Henry never told the other two people in the home what she had done. Rios said she acted like nothing had happened.
“Just tragic,” said Rios. Police reports from Oklahoma indicate that Rios had a volatile history with Henry and his children. Henry previously accused him of threatening her.
‘I was scared’: Phoenix mom accused of killing 3 kids confronted by family in exclusive video
Rachel Henry has confessed to murdering her three children, smothering them one by one.
The senseless crime occurred in January as police said Rachel Henry methodically killed her three children, all under the age of 4.
The family was left with grief and wondering why?
This spring, the great aunt of the murdered children Pearla Rebolledo set up a video visit with Rachel Henry.
A 12 News records request helped obtain the video, where Rebolledo asks why Rachel killed her children.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I told you I felt like I was losing my mind, because I didn’t understand why you guys, why everyone was acting the way they were. I didn’t, I was on drugs.” Henry responded. “I was freaking out and I didn’t know what to do. I know I was scared.”
Over the course of a six-minute call, Rachel claimed she was going crazy and that no one would listen to her.
“That is the point I kept telling you. I felt like I was losing my mind. I didn’t know what was going on, I tried to talk to someone they said I was stupid or I scared, and I didn’t know what I was talking about.” Henry said.
However, when pressed more by Rebolledo, Henry gave another reason for her actions.
“Do you know how bad I wanted to go to the store? I wanted to go outside. I wanted to do this and I wanted to do that. You said I couldn’t be seen by Fransico. You said I couldn’t go to the store because of the babies and this and that. I was trapped in the house and I felt like I was going crazy.” Henry said.
See the full video of the conversation below.
According to court documents, Henry allegedly began smothering each child, starting with the 1-year-old girl, when the aunt went to pick the children’s father up from work around 2 p.m. back in January.
She would then allegedly proceed to kill the next two children, smothering them while singing nursery rhymes to them.
“I don’t remember doing it (inaudible), because I don’t, it really wasn’t me.” Henry said to the children’s great aunt.
“I can’t understand, I can’t fathom what you’ve done.” Rebolledo said.
The details of the killings are gruesome.
While Henry was allegedly smothering the first child, the 1-year-old girl was kicking and the 3-year-old boy yelled “no” at her in an effort to get her to stop. The boy then began punching Henry but to no avail.
Henry then allegedly chased the 3-year-old boy around the room until the aunt and father returned to the house around 3 p.m.
After they spent some time playing with the 3-year-old boy, Henry took the boy into a back bedroom to change him and allegedly “placed her hand over his nose and mouth.”
She would sing to him, while she smothered him.
According to the document, the boy was scratching her chest and pinching her in an attempt to get her off of him, but Henry allegedly used her weight on top of him to smother him until he died.
Henry then allegedly fed the 7-month-old a bottle until she fell asleep before placing a hand over her face, obstructing her breathing, until she became unconscious and died. She also allegedly sang to the baby.
Henry has pleaded not guilty to murdering her three children. The trial is set to begin on Sept. 30.
Former friend of Rachel Henry describes her ‘aggressive’ behavior
A former friend of Rachel Henry, the mother who admitted to killing her three children, said she remembers her as someone who often acted out on her anger towards her friends.
“She would get mad or irritated out of nowhere. She would act as if she was wrestling around with them [her friends] or she would just like–she would dig her nails into their arms because she always wore these fake nails, or she would bite them or hit them or just anything like that,” she said.
The woman did not want to be identified. She said she was friends with Rachel in high school, but cut ties with her several years ago because of her behavior. “I just completely stopped talking to her, I didn’t want anything to do with her,” she said.
Rachel told investigators that she smothered her three children–Zane, Miraya, and Catalaya–one by one on Monday. Court paperwork says it all started when “Rachel was playing with the one-year-old female and wrestling on top of her.”
The former friend said she never met Rachel’s three children, but did see aggressive behavior from Rachel towards her friends in high school.
“When they said she did that with her daughter–I think it was that she was playing around with her and wrestling her and then hurt her–she did that to her mom, she did that to her friends, I’m surprised she would do that to a baby.” The former friend said that Rachel dropped out of high school. “Honestly I want to know what everybody else wants to know. I want to know how she can do anything like that to her own babies.”
Audio files released in case of Phoenix mom accused of killing her 3 kids
Phoenix police have released audio from interviews conducted on firefighters who responded to the scene of a horrifying triple homicide in January.
Rachel Henry is facing three counts of first degree murder after she admitted to police that she smothered her three young children, Zane, Miraya, and Catalaya.
On January 20, Phoenix firefighters were dispatched to a home near 24th Street and Southern for a call of a drowning with three reported victims. However, that’s not what firefighters discovered when they arrived.
“I mean, it came in as a drowning so I’m expecting wet kids. I’ve been on drownings before–are they in a bathtub? We’re going inside, I’m thinking it’s a safer bet than a bucket–and there’s three kids so and they’re laid out, and they’re all dry, they all have clothes on,” said A Phoenix firefighter in a recorded interview with police. “The whole scene was just weird, from the get-go, just strange.”
The seven firefighters who were interviewed by detectives described that they arrived on scene expecting to be able to help the three children, but they said it was obvious when they got there that it was far too late.
“It was odd or strange for me that–14 years in–to see a child who had clearly been dead for some time,” said another firefighter.
“The whole scene didn’t make sense to me. Those kids being rigor, there had been some time for that to set it. That doesn’t just happen. And the way she [Henry] was acting, it was very strange to me,” the firefighter said.
Many of the firefighters recall seeing Henry outside of the home speaking with officers, at times crying.
“Her cry was a little different to me because she was crying, but she would stop, she would talk normal, she would cry, and then talk normal,” another Phoenix firefighter said.
“As a mother or a grandmother that lost her 3 kids, they would be crying deep down in their soul, crying hysterically, punching, yelling, crying. There was none of that.”
“To be honest it sounded like a fake cry. From what I saw, no tears, just kind of that mumbling cry per-say, kept covering her facing, answering all of the officer’s questions, did not seem that distraught from what I could see,” said a third Phoenix firefighter. “The crews went out to tell her they were all deceased and there didn’t seem like much of a change from when we first got there.”
Henry pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Her next court date is September 10.
Meanwhile, prosecutors say they are seeking the death penalty for Rachel Henry.