Pinal Co. Sheriff: 3 women arrested in connection to toddler's death

Published: Dec. 29, 2015 at 1:26 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2016 at 1:26 PM MST
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Tina Morse (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
Tina Morse (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
Maria Tiglao (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
Maria Tiglao (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

PINAL COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has arrested three women in connection to the Nov. 19 death of 3-year-old Tiana Rosalie Capps.

Tina Morse, Maria C. Tiglao and Shawn Main were arrested on Dec. 24, according to a PCSO release. Morse, 27, is the biological mother of Tiana. Main faces charges of murder and child abuse, and Morse and Tiglao are facing five charges of child abuse against the four children in their care.

"The investigation has shown that the biological mother and two other women who were supposed to be caring for these four children, failed miserably in their responsibility to protect these children from harm," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in the release. "We discovered that all of the children suffered from abuse, the worst case resulting in the death of 3-year-old Tiana.

These arrests come after a month-long investigation into the incident that began on Nov. 19.

According to PCSO a 911 call was received at 6:20 a.m. on Nov. 19, from Shawn Main reporting that a 3-year-old was in distress and that she was driving the child to the hospital. Emergency crews caught up with Main on Amarillo Valley Road and Century Road, where they began CPR on Tiana. The toddler was transported to the hospital, but she died in the emergency room according to the release. Doctors noted unexplained injuries to her head and body.

Tiana lived with her biological mother and two other adult females at a home on N. Ralston Road, according to the release. Deputies showed up to the home and reported it was 'filthy, with animal feces and belongings stacked throughout the house'. The deputies also reported three boys - a 5-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 5-month-old were also living in the house, all biological children of Morse. The three boys were removed from the home at the request of the Department of Child Safety.

An autopsy was conducted, which showed that the three-year-old had died of "repeated occurrences of blunt-force trauma," according to the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.

"When our detectives interviewed the women living in the home, they established that Shawn Main was responsible for caring for the three oldest children and Maria Tiglao cared for the infant. The biological mother, Tina Morse, admitted to providing no care for her children. Shawn admitted that Tiana was under her care at the time of her fatal injuries," Babeu said. "Although Shawn claimed the child's injuries were self-inflicted, the medical examiner's report did not support the claims."

The 5-year-old male was also found to have injuries to his head and malnourished, according to the release. The other children were found to be malnourished as well. All the surviving children remain in the custody of DCS, while the three suspects remain in custody at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center.

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