Report: Arizona mom sang to her children as she killed them one by one
Rachel Henry’s 3-year-old son fought back and tried to stop the killings, but was no match for his mother
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- A police report offers shocking and horrific details about what led to a mother killing her three young children at their Arizona home 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.
We want to caution you that the details revealed in the newly-released police report are very disturbing.
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.
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