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Phoenix mother admits smothering her three young kids, gives details, police say

Posted at 6:51 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 08:53:14-05

Phoenix police say a mother admits she smothered her three young children in their home Monday night, reports CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV. A police report contains shocking and horrific details that investigators say Rachel Henry provided.

Separately, it emerged that she lost custody of the children at least once before. During Henry's first court appearance Tuesday, a prosecutor told the judge it was his understanding that the children were removed from the family home due to a drug addiction she suffers from.

KPHO confirmed that the children were taken away from her in Oklahoma. The family recently moved to Arizona from Oklahoma. Arizona child welfare officials said they hadn't had any contacts or abuse reports involving the family.

Henry was being held on $3 million bond.

According to the police report, Henry confessed to smothering the children one by one, even singing to some of them as she covered their mouths and noses.

Henry, 22, faces three counts of first-degree murder. Police say her 3-year-old son, year-old daughter and 7-month-old daughter were found dead by officers when they got to the house.

Beware: The details in the police report are very disturbing. "Rachel admitted to smothering each child, starting with the one year old," the report says.

To see the details, as reported by KPHO, click here.


The police report describes what Henry said she did after smothering the children: "Rachel placed all of the children in a position on the living room couch as if they were taking a nap." She also reportedly didn't tell any family members in the home what had just happened.

Police and firefighters were later called to the house.


Police say they'll be looking into whether postpartum depression might have been a factor.

"It's mind-blowing. It's shocking. It's one of those things where you start asking yourself, 'Why didn't she reach out for help?"' psychologist Dr. John Delatorre remarked to KPHO. "Could it be mental illness? Absolutely it could be mental illness. Could it be that the person saw no way out? That they have to take care of so many children and they don't have enough resources to care for them?"

According to the police report, Henry "had a methamphetamine addiction and had been acting strange the past several days."