A Phoenix woman stabbed her three young sons to death and put their partially dismembered bodies in a closet before she tried to kill herself at their home, police said Thursday.
Officers found the dead boys — ages 2 months old and 5 and 8 years old — in a closet full of miscellaneous items. The youngest boy’s body was in a case of some kind in the closet, Sgt. Trent Crump said.
No identities were released.
“Detectives have informed me that it appears the children at this point were likely stabbed to death and parts of their bodies were dismembered,” Crump said.
He did not elaborate on the dismemberment but earlier said it was an “absolutely horrific scene.”
The woman’s brother called 911 early Thursday morning after his sister stabbed herself some time after he returned from work to their northwest Phoenix home late Wednesday night, police said.
The woman initially spoke with her brother in the garage but then locked him out of the house and then locked herself in a bedroom once he’d forced his way into the home, Crump said.
She then came out all bloody, having stabbed herself, and she tried to drown herself in a bathtub while the brother was getting towels for her bleeding, the sergeant said.
That’s when the brother called 911 and police responded.
After dealing with the badly injured woman, officers didn’t discover the boys’ bodies until they started searching the whole home, they said.
As she was being taken to the hospital, the woman told police her sons were staying with a baby sitter, and the brother told police the boys did regularly stay with that person, Crump said.
The mother was hospitalized in critical condition with neck and abdomen wounds but is expected to survive, police said.
“She will be in the hospital for some time with some very serious self-inflicted injuries,” Crump said. “It’s a murder investigation at this point.”
When the brother returned home from work, his sister met him in the garage and talked about religion and the meaning of life, which he told police was a recent subject of interest to her, he said.
The brother told police he didn’t understand why his sister recently had started talking about religion, and family members “don’t know what set this off,” Crump said, referring to the killings.
The woman and her children live with her brother and the siblings’ mother, Crump said. “There’s no father in the picture.”
Residents said the neighborhood of townhomes is quiet, and the older boys frequently rode bicycles outside.
“Kids are supposed to feel good in this neighborhood,” said Frank Segura, who lives across the street. “It’s heartbreaking. They’re just nice kids.”
Next-door neighbor Shelley Severns said her children played with the older boys, whom she called “cute little things.”
“I’m still processing all of this. It’s very tragic because you don’t know why this happen,” Severns said.
The boys were killed sometime during a several-hour period after the woman’s mother left for work Wednesday evening, Crump said.
Crump said police had unconfirmed information that the woman might have been pregnant. “It may have been a reason why she had self-inflicted stab wounds” in the abdomen, he said.
He said police were unaware of any documented history of mental illness.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Christopher S. O'Rourke says
The mother that dismembered her children’s bodies in the murder, attempted suicide needs and deserves the death penalty.
If that would have been the children’s father that did that, the children’s father would be put to death in states that have the
death penalty, while for the woman that murders, there is no death penalty in the states that have the death penalty except
for Texas. In Texas, if a woman commits murder like a man does, she will be given the death penalty in Texas. In the states
Outside of Texas that has the death penalty, he death penalty is only for the men, not the women-this is sexual discrimination
at its ultimate.
Kenneth Trail says
I bet ya money some asswipe atheist group will blame the murders on Christianity and God,, claiming her sudden intrest in it was the cause….
Attempting to rescue and safe her is a waste. Lets just say for the sake of argument she is mentally ill at the times of these gruesome, DELIBERATE, murders.
Now lets say she is put on meds, begins to think like a human instead of a carnivorous insect, what are the chances she will regret what she did?
Will she be grieved beyond life?
It’s a waste of time and energy
PHYLLIS LANDA says
SOME MEN DON’T BELIEVE IN THE USAGE OF CONDOMS. THEY SHOULD HAVE VASECTOMIES AND WOMEN SHOULD HAVE THEIR TUBES TIED. THEY DON’T WANT TO GET PREGNANT AGAIN. SEE YOUR DOCTOR, PLEASE
When I was growing up there was never
such a wave of mothers killing their
kids! I’m in my sixties and to me I see
these kind of crimes as an indicator
of the third kind. Something is really
deeper here than many will talk about.
When children are’nt safe from their own mothers…how long do you think
we have as a modern society?
Post whatever. I’m a woman I get away with it. Bull Shit
Margaret Doane says
I bet if you look in the medicine cabinet there will be anti depression medication !!!!!
This is indicative of a much greater challenge that this woman was going through. Obviously this is not normal behavior and someone should have noticed something bizarre and different about her, in her behavior, her mental state , her conversations.. Some one like her doctor, the hospital, clinic , the school etc.. This should not have gone so far. Signs would have been clear and should have been noted and precautions should have been put in place. Often we ‘don’t want to get involved’ or ‘blow the whistle’ we ‘look the other way’.. This can not be an isolated set of actions from her . there MUST have been warning signs!.. Those children have been let down badly by the community in which she lived and associated with….including her nearest relatives and close associates.