A Phoenix woman suspected of killing her three sons, all younger than 9, and then stabbing herself remains in critical condition at a local hospital, authorities said.
The 29-year-old woman was in critical condition but expected to survive. Her identity was being withheld, pending notification of the children’s next of kin.
The boys -- 8-year-old Jaikare Rahaman, 5-year-old Jeremiah Adams, and 2-month-old Avery Robinson -- were found stuffed into a closet, said Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump. The infant was found inside a suitcase. The children were partially dismembered.
“An absolutely horrific scene for the officers and [the woman’s] brother to arrive to,” Crump said Thursday morning.
The woman’s mother, who owns the home where the killings occurred, left for work between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Crump said. The woman’s brother approached her about 11:15 p.m. at the home, where she “was talking about religion and having found the answer to her problems,” Crump said.
The woman then locked her brother in the garage. Within an hour, he had forced his way into the home. There, he found his sister in a bathroom stabbing herself in the abdomen. She had already cut her throat.
The woman, who had delivered a baby two months earlier, told her brother she had stabbed herself because she believed she was pregnant. The brother called 911 and used towels to stanch the bleeding.
When he returned, she was trying to drown herself in the bathtub, Crump said.
When emergency personnel arrived, the woman told them that her children were with another family member. Police began to search the house.
“Our officers decide while we’re out here to clear the home, and when they do, they have the grim discovery of finding two children obviously deceased inside the home,” Crump said.
Family members told police there was a third child, and officers re-entered the home to search through “belongings,” Crump said, given the infant’s small size. That’s when the youngest boy’s body was found in the suitcase.
Crump said police believe the homicides took place in the intervening two or three hours between when the children’s grandmother left for work and when the brother forced his way into the home.