An Arizona mother, Brittany Velasquez, is facing murder charges after her 10-month-old and 2-year-old children were found dead in a car on Monday night – still strapped to their car seats. According to ABC 15 Arizona, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said evidence of foul was discovered, and 20-year-old Velasquez is facing two counts of murder.
Autopsies are still needed to determine the children's cause of death, according to People. However, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said in a news conference that there were no signs of knife or gunshot wounds and a toxicology report is pending, according to ABC 15 Arizona. The names of the victims have not been released.
In a statement, the Arizona Department of Children Safety said that they had received two previous reports regarding Velasquez. The first was in 2016, when a neglect report alleged that Velasquez left her child with her mother, who was too old to provide proper care. A DCS investigator concluded “there were no indications the child was being abused or neglected and there were no legal grounds to remove the child."
The second neglect report came in January of this year, alleging “Ms. Velasquez left her children for extended periods of time with the maternal grandmother without adequate supplies to care for the children.” But a DCS investigation found that the home “contained all the supplies to properly care for the children.”
The mother was arrested and booked into the Pinal County jail on suspicion of two counts of murder, according to USA Today.
"This kind of thing doesn’t happen here," Christian Ensley, Superior's interim police chief, said during a Tuesday press conference. "It’s a devastating blow. You can go anywhere around here and find people who know that family. It’s not hard to do."
[Photo: Pinal County Sheriff’s Office]