PHOENIX — An Arizona woman killed three young sons and put their bodies in a closet then she tried to kill herself at their home, police said Thursday.
The woman’s brother called 911 after returning to the northwest Phoenix home late Wednesday and finding she had locked him out, Sgt. Trent Crump said.
The brother eventually entered the home and found his 29-year-old sister with self-inflicted stab wounds. While he was getting towels for her bleeding, she tried to drown herself in a bathtub, Crump said.
Officers found the dead boys — ages 2 months old, 5 and 8 years old — in a closet. The youngest boy’s body was in a case of some kind in the closet, Crump said.
It was an “absolutely horrific scene for the officers and the brother,” he said.
As she was being taken to the hospital, the mother told police her sons were staying with a baby sitter, and the brother told police the boys did regularly stay with that person, Crump said.
The mother was hospitalized in critical condition with neck and abdomen wounds, he said. She is expected to survive.
“She will be in the hospital for some time with some very serious self-inflicted injuries,” Crump said. “It’s a murder investigation at this point.”
When the woman initially spoke with her brother in the garage after he returned home, she talked about what “she had found in life or what she needed in life,” Crump said.
Beyond that, the woman’s family members have no answers and “don’t know what set this off,” Crump said.
The woman and her children live with her brother and the siblings’ mother, Crump said. “There’s no father in the picture.”
No identities were released.
Residents said the neighbourhood of town homes is quiet, and the older boys frequently rode bicycles outside.
“Kids are supposed to feel good in this neighborhood,” said Frank Segura, who lives across the street. “It’s heartbreaking. They’re just nice kids.”
Next-door neighbour Shelley Severns said her children played with the older boys, whom she called “cute little things.”
The boys were killed sometime during a several-hour period after the woman’s mother left for work Wednesday evening and her brother returned home from work before midnight, the spokesman said.
Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer
Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.
The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.
The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.
For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.
Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.
However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.
“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.Follow @gorkhapost