Mom Confesses She sang to Her 3 Young Kids as She Smothered Each One to Death

Rachel Henry's children

A mother in Phoenix, Arizona, is behind bars after police say she confessed to smothering her three young children at home Monday night. As if that weren't disturbing enough, a newly released police report revealed that Rachel Henry even sang songs to some of them while she simultaneously covered their airways. The 22-year-old mother now faces three counts of first-degree murder, AZ Family reported.

  • The details behind the horrific crime are almost too difficult to stomach.

    According to a police report, Henry killed her children "one by one," starting with her 1-year-old daughter Miraya, who would have turned 2 next month.

    "Rachel was playing with the 1-year-old female and was wrestling on top of her," the police report stated. "Rachel felt the 1-year-old female's breathing was obstructed but continued to impede her breath by placing her hand over the 1-year-old female's mouth."

  • Advertisement
  • As the toddler fought mercilessly for her life, kicking her legs wildly as she gasped for air, Henry's 3-year-old son Zane attempted to intervene.

    The mother told police that her eldest began screaming at her "in an attempt to get her to stop" and even resorted to "punching her to no avail."

    Eventually, the little girl stopped kicking, which was when her mother knew she had died.

  • Henry immediately began to chase her 3-year-old son, but was "interrupted" when other family members came home.

    In a chilling twist, the relatives seemed unaware that anything was amiss inside the home, and one of them even took some time to play with Zane.

    Just moments later, Henry took the little boy into a bedroom in an attempt to finish what she'd already started.

  • The mother reportedly changed the boy on the floor of the bedroom before she began to straddle him with one of her legs.

    Overpowering him with her body weight, she "placed her hand over his nose and mouth," the police report described.

    While relatives remained unaware in another room, Henry began singing to her son as he desperately scratched her chest and pinched her. As the minutes passed, the mother kept smothering her son until he too died, the report noted.

  • Henry's final victim was her daughter, Catalaya Rios, who was just 7 months old.

    The mother fed the infant a bottle in one of the bedrooms until the baby fell asleep, and she began singing once more. 

    She continued singing as she placed a hand over the baby's face and, just as she did with her two other children, intentionally blocked her airways. The infant eventually fell unconscious and died.

  • The mother's final brazen act came when she carried their bodies into the living room and placed them on the couch as though they were napping.

    She reportedly said nothing to the other family members, who remained in other areas of the home still unaware of what had occurred. 

    Eventually, paramedics arrived and the children were rushed to the hospital, but they could not be saved.

  • At a vigil for the children this week, their great-aunt Pearl Rebolledo Velazco spoke about the family's shock and disbelief over what had happened.

    Velazco had been inside the home at the time of the children's deaths, but she said she had no reason to believe anything was out of the ordinary. Neither did Pedro Rios, Catalaya's father, who was also home at the time.

    "I know it's hard to believe, but we were here throughout [the house] as she killed our kids," a tearful Velazco told mourners, according to Fox 10. They thought she was putting them down for naps. "We had no reason to think otherwise."

    Still, she is filled with regret that she didn't know more -- and didn't intervene.

    "I should have taken three steps into the room," she lamented. "I can't change it now. I can't change it now. And that's killing me."

  • As new details have emerged about the case, they are shedding light on what was happening within the family in the days and weeks before the murders.

    Henry reportedly had a methamphetamine addiction, the Daily Mail wrote, and authorities said she had been "acting strange the past several days."

    The children were in the care of Velazco and Rios temporarily, after they had been removed from Henry's care, CBS News reported. But when Rios moved them from Oklahoma to Arizona, Henry soon followed to be with them.

    "She missed them," Velazco recalled. "She was on the street, and she wanted to straighten up and everything. She could've walked away at any time."

  • It was Velazco who discovered the children and administered CPR while urging Henry to call 911.

    Instead, the great-aunt claimed, Henry just stared at her phone, forcing Velazco to make the call herself.

    "They were just kids, they were babies, they were innocent," the great-aunt recalled.

    Velazco has since started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs. 

    As for Henry, she is being held on $3 million bail while she awaits her next court date.