A US mother has been charged with the murder of her two young daughters after she overdosed them on medication in their Arizona apartment.
Retta Cruse, 35, was found barricaded in a bedroom with multiple apparent self-inflicted stab wounds with the bodies of nine-year-old Aleyah and 4-year-old Royal McIntyre on September 8.
According to 3TV/CBS 5, court documents say police found the two girls in bed and had apparently been moved.
The report says the girls were “facing each other, with their arms around each other as though they had been placed into this position.”
Investigators confirmed neither girl had injuries and said they found a handwritten letter explaining, which appears to have been signed by Cruse.
Police reported that they spoke to a man who said he was the stepfather to one of the girls and biological father to the other.
He told police that Cruse “was upset over a recent court hearing where was losing custody of” one of the girls.
The man also told police that Cruse believed both the girls had COVID-19 and that the medication was being used in order to “to help them sleep.”
It is believed Cruse had used a combination of “prescription medications and over the counter medications to sedate and overdose the children.”
Police confirmed there were signs indicating a possible overdose with a prescription pill near their mouths and a bottle of oxycodone in the room.
Investigators are still awaiting awaiting toxicology reports.
Court documents also revealed Cruse admitted to hospital staff as to her involvement in “taking the life of her oldest daughter and attempting to take her own life”.
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She also spoke of a person, whose name was not revealed, who “suggested she kill the girls and herself however she denied taking any action.”
Retta denied knowing how the girls died in court documents, as well as and denying any knowledge regarding a confession letter.
Cruse has appeared in court this week and was held on a $2 million bond.
She is next due in court on September 23.
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