( 4UMF NEWS ) Mom Drowns Twin Boys In Bathtub:
A suburban Phoenix mother was being held on murder charges Monday after telling police she intentionally drowned her twin, 2-year-old boys in a bathtub, authorities said.
Authorities in Avondale were planning an autopsy to determine the cause of death of the boys.
Avondale police Sgt. Brandon Busse said in a statement that a family member called 911 and that police and fire responders who arrived at the house found the boys lying unresponsive on a bed. Their mother, Mireya Alejandra Lopez, told police that she “intentionally drowned both of her twin boys” in the bathtub and tried to drown a third child, but was stopped by family members. The third child didn’t suffer any injuries, Busse said.
Lopez, 22, was being charged with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide. The exact cause of death had not been determined.
“I wouldn’t rule (a drowning) out, but when we arrived, they were on the bed,” Busse told The Arizona Republic. “We won’t officially say it’s a drowning until they go through an autopsy.”
He said other adults and at least two young children were in the home at the time of the incident.
“Anytime you lose two small children, it’s tough. This situation is not going to be easy … but we’ll work through the case and find out what happened,” Busse told the Republic. “We’re still pretty early in the investigation. We don’t have any conclusions at this point.”
The twins’ father, Sam Avitia, told KTVK-TV he had joint custody of the boys. He also said Lopez suffered from depression and anxiety. She never had been violent or threatening, he told the station.
Neighbors told the Republic the street is in a relatively quiet area.
One neighbor, who identified himself as Billy Dee, stood in his driveway and watched as emergency vehicles began trickling out of the neighborhood Sunday afternoon. He said he has known the family in the house for about three years. He described them as friends whom he’d help fix their aquarium, and whose children he’d give toys and ice cream.
“Those people are beautiful. There are tears and pain in my heart today,” he said. “They’re like family.”
Others who were not acquainted with the family expressed how surprised they were to hear about the deaths.
“It’s terrible,” neighbor Shauna Siniscaochi said. “I’d never expect something like this to happen.”
Another neighbor, Lacey Hellum, said she saw police cars and firetrucks surrounding the house as she was leaving her home at about noon to go grocery shopping. By the time she returned, she said, she saw about 15 emergency vehicles parked on the street.
“It freaked me out to see the firetrucks and police. I thought it would have to be a drowning after seeing all of the firetrucks. I figured it had to be a child,” she said. “I wish I knew exactly what happened. I feel so bad.”
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