PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix mother had been transported to the hospital covered in blood with stab wounds to her neck and abdomen when police officers searching her house opened a closet to a grim discovery.
Inside, officers found the bodies of her three young sons, Avery Robinson, Jeremiah Adams and Jaikare Rahama.
Police discovered the dead boys — ages 2 months old and 5 and 8 years old — in a closet full of miscellaneous items. Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said the youngest boy's body was in a suitcase.
Crump said the children appeared to have been stabbed to death and "parts of their bodies were dismembered."
The 29-year-old mother, Octavia Rogers, is in a hospital in critical condition with self-inflicted stab wounds. Police say she is the primary suspect and will face charges.
Complete strangers, family, and friends came together for a vigil held at the family home to remember the three victims. The mother of Octavia Rogers says her daughter loved her boys, was not a drug addict, and she believes Octavia suffered from post partum depression.
Statement from Arizona Dept. of Child Safety's Director Gregory McKay:
"It is a sad day as we reflect on the gruesome nature of what occurred. We grieve as a community, trying to understand why three innocent souls have been taken. We grieve as an organization, suffering the loss of children whom we knew. When a child is murdered, it's common to ask if something could have been done to prevent such a tragedy. At DCS, we ask ourselves those questions because we take the responsibility of protecting children very seriously. But our powers are limited; we cannot predict the future; and people, can at times, do awful things.
The following represents the history our department had with the involved family:
In 2010, DCS received allegations of a child with a small abrasion on his forehead. Investigators were unable to locate the family.
In 2011, DCS investigated an allegation of child neglect due to marijuana odor coming from the family home. The mother was referred for family preservation services, a DCS funded contract with a private provider. The mother refused to receive services by the provider. There was no reason or legal grounds to take the children into emergency state care and the case was closed as unsubstantiated.
In 2016, DCS investigated an allegation that the mother gave birth to a baby exposed to marijuana. The investigator found the children to be safe and referred the mother for services, again contracted and paid for by DCS. The mother did not participate in services by the provider. There was no reason or legal grounds to take the children into emergency state care. The case was substantiated and closed.
There remains an ongoing criminal investigation into these tragic deaths and DCS will do all it can to assist the Phoenix Police Department in bringing the appropriate resolution. DCS will be conducting an internal review to ensure processes are employed to best protect children.
We offer our deepest sympathies to the family and pray for the peace of the departed.
I ask all Arizonans to respect, support, and commend the dedicated men and women of DCS and Law Enforcement who do the unimaginable. Who do, when no one else can or will. Who comfort the afflicted, protect the weak, and wipe the tears; who then go find a private place to shed their own."
Agency says a positive drug test doesn't guarantee taking kids away. Need "imminent danger" at home & they didn't find that. @loriducharme— Andrew Hasbun (@andrewfox10) June 3, 2016
After baby tests + for pot, AZ Dept. Of Child Safety visited children allegedly killed by mom. No red flags at home. pic.twitter.com/1wcWlWjPD8— Andrew Hasbun (@andrewfox10) June 3, 2016
A GoFundMe page has been setup to help with funeral costs: https://www.gofundme.com/3angelsgoinghome