KEY POINTS

  • Phoenix police were reportedly called to the home where the children's bodies were found in the living room
  • The children's mother, Rachel Henry, first told officers they had been sick but later allegedly admitted to killing them
  • Henry is facing three counts of murder and was booked Tuesday in Maricopa County Jail

A mother in Phoenix was arrested for killing her three young children after police discovered their bodies in the family’s home, police said Tuesday. The woman reportedly confessed to the killings.

Rachel Henry, 22, was formally charged by the Phoenix Police Department for the deaths of a 3-year-old boy, 2-year-old girl and a 7-month-old girl. Henry faces three counts of first-degree murder and was booked in Maricopa County Jail.

Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said police and fire crews were called to Henry’s residence around 7:30 p.m. Monday night by a relative concerned about the well-being of her children. Authorities reportedly found the bodies of the children in the living room and were unresponsive. Responders failed to resuscitate the children and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Firefighters initially had reported the deaths as drownings, though that was later proven to be incorrect. Fortune also said there were no signs of physical trauma, though illness is suspected to be a factor.

An autopsy is scheduled for later in the week to determine cause of death.

Investigators conducted interviews with Henry, her husband, 30, and the 49-year-old relative, who called police. Henry first told officers the children had been home sick all day but later admitted to killing them as questioning continued.

“Right now, we can tell you she admitted to doing this to the children, and that’s where we’re going and that’s where the investigation is at this point,” Fortune said.

The investigation remains ongoing. There has been no confirmation as to whether Henry has an attorney.

The Phoenix Police Department on Tuesday morning tweeted that Henry recently moved to the Phoenix area from Oklahoma.

tape police This image shows police tape around an apartment building where police found seven people dead in Grapevine, Texas, Dec. 25, 2011. Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images