GRAPHIC: Mum’s sick final act before killing kids
A MOTHER who smothered her children to death sang them a lullaby to mask their screams from their father who was in the other room.
Police are still determining what prompted Rachel Henry, 22, from Phoenix, Arizona, to commit such a "senseless act" after she admitted to harming her children.
The children have been identified as Zane Ezri Henry, 3, Mireya Henry, 1, and six-month-old Catalaya Kyeana Rios.
The mother was said to have smothered her children one by one before lining up their three lifeless bodies in their Phoenix home, according to court documents, according to USA Today.
The case started on Monday with a 911 call - when police arrived at the scene they found three unresponsive children - officers performed CPR "but the kids were already gone".
Henry's first victim was her eldest daughter who she allegedly wrestled before placing her hand over the little girl's mouth as she struggled to break free.
According to police, her three-year-old son Zane yelled "no" at his mother to "get her to stop".
The boy also "punched" Henry, but "to no avail," police wrote in court documents.
"Rachel knew she killed the one-year-old female when she stopped kicking," a Phoenix police investigator wrote.
It was reported Henry allegedly chased her son into a back bedroom but stopped when the father of the children Pedro Rios, 30, and his 49-year-old aunt, returned home.
According to USA Today, Henry told them she was going to put the kids down for a nap while they were gone.
"Rachel described singing to the three-year-old as he scratched her chest and pinched her," the report detailed.
Rios, who according to his Facebook was engaged to Henry since May last year, was in the other room but was oblivious to what was happening because Henry had sung over their screams until they drew their final breaths.
She allegedly placed her son on the floor, straddled him with her legs and proceeded to smother him using her weight and by covering his mouth and nose with her hands until he died, USA Today reported.
She then turned her attention to her six-month-old girl, feeding her with a bottle until she fell asleep.
According to a probable cause statement, Henry sang her a song while again smothering the child with her hand as the child's father and the unidentified woman were in the next room.
A call was made to 911 at about 7.20pm, however it is not clear whether that was Henry or the other female in the home.
Henry allegedly admitted to having a history of methamphetamine addiction, with family members telling police she was "acting strange" in the past several days.
She allegedly turned to drugs after being deeply affected by the death of her mother in 2018.
Detectives haven't determined a motive for the children's tragic deaths.
It has also been reported the children were taken away from her but were returned prior to the killings.
During Henry's first court appearance on Tuesday, the judge gave a secured bond of $3 million, which according to USA Today, she could bail out of prison by providing a collateral of 10 per cent.
When asked if she wanted to make a statement in her defence, she only asked a question: "I'm not getting released?"'
She also added, "I don't know how I'm going to be able to get any money. I don't have a job or anything."
The judge told her that if she does provide the necessary bond, she won't be allowed to possess any weapons or drugs and will be required to attend all future court proceedings, the publication reported.
Her next court date is scheduled for Tuesday, January 28.