The partially dismembered bodies of three young boys were found in their house after their mother was hospitalised with self-inflicted stab wounds.
Police in Phoenix, Arizona said the 29-year-old mother is suspected in the killings of her three sons, who are aged eight, five and two months.
The woman remains in a critical condition in hospital, having been discovered by her brother with the injuries to her neck and abdomen.
Detectives later found the children’s bodies in a closet, with the youngest child stuffed in a suitcase.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump said ‘parts of the bodies were dismembered’, adding: ‘(It was) an absolutely horrific scene for the officers and the brother. Nobody wants to see this happen to a child, nobody.’
The boys have been identified as Jaikare Rahaman, Jeremiah Adams and Avery Robinson.
Crump said they were killed during a period of several hours between their grandmother leaving for work on Wednesday evening and their uncle returning home before midnight.
The suspect’s brother came back to find his sister in the garage, where he said she talked about God and said she’d found the answer to life.
She then went inside, locking the door behind her.
The brother forced his way in but she had barricaded herself in another room, later emerging with the serious injuries.
She also tried to drown herself in a bath before the police arrived, the force said.
Next-door neighbor Shelley Severns said: ‘I’m still processing all of this. It’s very tragic because you don’t know why this happens.’
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