New details: Mother sang as she smothered her young children to death

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An important note regarding the following story:

News 4 contacted DHS earlier today, asking about any contacts the state may have had with Rachel Henry or her children. DHS sent us a response saying, in part:

“We are devastated to learn of the deaths of these three children. However, the information requested is confidential under Oklahoma statute.”

After receiving that statement, we contacted DHS again, telling them we believe Oklahoma law specifically mandates DHS to release that information to the public.

We referenced the Ryan Luke law. Those of you who’ve lived in Oklahoma for some time may remember that law was passed in an effort to make DHS more open with its records, after a child dies. DHS then responded with this:

“At the time of their deaths, the children of Rachel Henry were not in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. OKDHS has been contacted by Arizona law enforcement and is cooperating fully with their efforts. Since DHS is unable to conduct an investigation into the deaths of these children, Oklahoma state law prohibits the dissemination of any information related to this matter.”

They did admit they are going to conduct an internal assessment as to what happened, but they said - that too - will be confidential. As for whether DHS will ever release the records in this case, we will continue the fight to obtain those documents. We believe it’s important for you, the public to know what happened in this case…IF those children were actually in DHS custody at one time.

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KFOR) - Court documents are revealing the final moments of three young children who were allegedly killed by their mother.

Officials say it all started around 7:20 p.m. on Jan. 20 when officers with the Phoenix Police Department were called to a home in the 2500 block of E. Vineyard Rd.

Dispatchers say they received a call from a woman who said that three children were found dead inside the home.

During interviews with family members, officials say they learned that the children's mother, Rachel Henry, had a methamphetamine addiction and "had been acting strange the past several days," the probable cause affidavit states.

When asked about the children, Henry admitted to smothering the children, starting with 1-year-old Mireya Henry.

Rachel Henry
Rachel Henry

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

At that point, Henry said her oldest child, 3-year-old Zane Henry, tried to step in and get her to stop. She said the boy yelled at her and even hit her in an attempt to help his sister.

Once the one-year-old was dead, Henry said she chased Zane but was interrupted when another relative arrived at the house. A short time later, she said she took him to a back bedroom, straddled him, and placed her hand over his nose and mouth.

"Rachel described singing to the three-year-old male as he [scratched] her chest and [pinched] her while she placed her hand over his nose/mouth," the affidavit stated.

She says she fed 7-month-old Catalaya Rios a bottle until she fell asleep. That is when she said she "sang her a song as she placed her hand over her face and impeded her breath. Rachel sang to the seven-month-old female until she became unconscious and died," the affidavit claims.

When all of the children were dead, Henry placed their bodies on the couch and made it look like they were taking a nap.

At least two other adults were in the home the night the children were killed, police say. It's unclear whether they were all present at the same time.

Henry, who just moved to Arizona from Oklahoma, has been arrested on three counts of first-degree murder. On Tuesday, a judge set her bond at $3 million and ordered an attorney to be appointed to her case.

In a videoconference from the jail, Henry expressed concern about the bond amount.

"I don't know how I'm going to be able to get any money," she said. "I don't have a job or anything."

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