An Arizona mother accused of smothering her three children to death in January admitted to family she was “scared” and high on drugs at the time of the triple murder in jailhouse recordings.
Rachel Henry, who allegedly sang nursery rhymes to her three children as she smothered them one by one, told her family she was suffering bouts of paranoia and was “losing her mind” at the time of her kids' deaths, according to jailhouse recordings obtained by KPNX-TV.
"I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I told you I felt like I was losing my mind because I didn’t understand why you guys, why everyone was acting the way they were. I didn’t, I was on drugs [...] I was freaking out and I didn’t know what to do. I know I was scared."
Henry’s family called the 23-year-old mother demanding answers in the newly released footage of the video call.
"I can’t understand, I can’t fathom what you've done," Pearla Rebolledo, Henry’s aunt, told her.
Henry, whose children — Zane Henry, 3, Mireya Henry, 1, and 7-month-old Catalaya Rios — died in the gruesome incident, claimed she had repeatedly tried to approach her family about her mental health issues but that she wasn’t taken seriously.
"That is the point I kept telling you,” Henry told her aunt. “I felt like I was losing my mind. I didn’t know what was going on, I tried to talk to someone, they said I was stupid or I scared, and I didn’t know what I was talking about.”
In the roughly six-minute call, Henry insisted she didn’t even remember the day of the suspected killings.
"I don’t remember doing it…because I don’t, it really wasn’t me," Henry added.
While detailing her battle with mental illness, Henry also accused her relatives of isolating her in the family’s home.
“Do you know how bad I wanted to go to the store?” Henry asked Rebolledo. “I wanted to go outside. I wanted to do this and I wanted to do that. You said I couldn’t be seen by Francisco. You said I couldn’t go to the store because of the babies and this and that. I was trapped in the house and I felt like I was going crazy.”
On Jan. 4, Henry allegedly smothered each child, one at a time, after her aunt left the home to give the child’s father a ride home from work, according to court documents obtained by KPNX-TV. She smothered her youngest daughter last, after feeding the 7-month-old a bottle, law enforcement said.
Henry pleaded not guilty in February.
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