Three young boys were found dead and partially dismembered in a Phoenix home after their mother allegedly stabbed the children to death before turning the knife on herself, authorities said.
Brothers Jaikare Rahaman, 8, and Jeremiah Adams, 5, were found dead in a bedroom closet of their grandmother’s home while the youngest child, 2-month-old Avery Robinson, was discovered in a suitcase, police said.
The bodies, which had been partially dismembered, were discovered by cops responding a 911 call by their uncle who had found their mother, later identified as 29-year-old Octavia Rogers, stabbing herself.
The brother told police he had come home from work early Thursday and spoke to his sister in the garage, where she spoke about religion and how she found the answer, authorities said.
She rushed into the home and locked her brother out, but within an hour he managed to force his way in and discovered her in the bathroom with self-inflicted stab wounds, he told police.
Rogers’ brother said she told him she was pregnant as she stabbed herself and that she tried to drown herself in the bathtub while he scrambled to find towels, Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump told reporters.
Emergency responders rushed to the home after her brother called 911 about 2 a.m., when the mother said her children were with another family member, Crump said.
She was rushed to a local hospital with abdomen and neck wounds.
Officers later discovered the boys' bodies in a routine check of the house.
"An absolutely horrific scene for the officers and [the woman’s] brother to arrive to,” Crump said Thursday morning.
Family members told The Arizona Republic that Rogers grew up in Phoenix but lived in Virginia for about two years until she moved back home for the birth of her youngest son.
She had been living in her mother’s home, where she reportedly received endless support raising her boys.
“My daughter knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would take her kids… because there were times she would talk to me about leaving for the summer,” her mother, Tanella McCoy, told The Arizona Republic.
Rogers was left alone with her children for about two hours, authorities said.
Family members were cooperating fully with police and said the woman had no known mental illness, Crump said.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) said it previously investigated allegations surrounding the family, as the agency received allegations of a child with a small abrasion on his forehead in 2010, KPHO-TV reported.
Investigators were unable to locate the family, DCS said.
A year later DCS investigated an allegation of child neglect due to marijuana odor coming from the family home, it said in a statement. The mother was referred for family preservation services, a DCS-funded contract with a private provider, but Rogers allegedly refused the services.
"There was no reason or legal grounds to take the children into emergency state care and the case was closed as unsubstantiated," DCS Director Gregory McKay said in a statement.
DCS also investigated an allegation this year that Rogers gave birth to a baby exposed to marijuana, but the children were found to be safe. The investigator referred the mother for services, again contracted and paid for by DCS. She did not participate in the services, DCS said.
McKay said there was no reason or legal grounds to take the children into emergency state care. The case was substantiated and closed, according to his statement.
DCS is assisting the Phoenix Police Department in the ongoing investigation.
Rogers will likely be charged in the murders of her sons if she does not succumb to her injuries, officials said. Though she was still in critical condition as of Friday, she was expected to survive.