Couple charged with murder of adopted daughter long gone after her remains were found following a house fire
An Arizona couple were charged last week with the murder of their 13-year-old adopted daughter, whose skeletal remains were found in an attic after their home burned down last year. Officials on Friday announced that Rafael Loera and Maribel Loera have been charged with the murder of their adopted daughter, Ana Loera, who had not been seen since 2016. The girl’s remains were discovered after authorities turned it off a fire at the couple’s Phoenix home in January 2020. Ana Loera’s death was declared a homicide by the county medical examiner. Investigators did not say when the 13-year-old may have died, but she was last seen alive about five years ago. The teenager was also known as Charisma Marquez, KIRO-TV reported. “The exact date of death is unknown, however, according to witnesses she was last seen alive in 2016,” the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement. Rafael and Maribel Loera Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office On January 20, 2020, Phoenix police officers conducted a welfare check at the couple’s residence after an 11-year-old girl called and called stated that she was hungry and had been left alone by her parents. The child was eventually removed from the home after showing signs of “neglect” and “abuse”. The 11-year-old girl is said to have shown signs of several “abrasions, scars, scars from healed burns, injuries to the back, buttocks, abdomen and chin,” according to court documents, AZFamily.com reported. She told detectives that Maribel Loera had beaten her with “knotted extension cords” and banged her “head against the walls”. His injuries matched the abuse allegations. The 11-year-old also claimed she had an older sister who had disappeared two years earlier. Eight days later, the Arizona Department of Child Safety returned to Loera’s home, where it abducted two other children – a 4-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy – who were in custody. of State. The boy’s injuries were described as “too numerous to count,” according to court documents obtained by The Arizona Republic. “Buckle marks” were found on the little boy’s legs, court documents show. The aftermath of the house fire at 5800 West Wolf Street. Photo: Phoenix Police Department Minutes after authorities left, Rafael Loera sprayed the floor of his home with gasoline and set the property on fire, police said. Authorities suspect the 57-year-old started the fire in an unsuccessful effort to kill himself. Subsequently, firefighters discovered human bones while inspecting the ceiling of the house. Rafael Loera later confessed that the skeletal remains belonged to Ana Loera. He claimed the teenager became extremely ill, but the family neglected to see a doctor and died while they were driving her to hospital. The couple wrapped her body in a sheet and left it in the attic of the house. She may have died more than two years before her body was found, according to KIRO-TV. Rafael Loera, who also admitted he was aware of the child abuse in the couple’s home, has largely blamed his wife, Maribel. “[He] admitted that his wife was abusing [Ana] at the time of his death she was the primary caregiver while he was at work and a forensic autopsy of the bones would “likely” show injuries, “according to court documents. The couple have been charged with first degree murder, multiple counts of child abuse, concealing a dead body and arson of an occupied structure, according to online records. “The department was not visiting this family because there were no children in foster care at the time of the incident, nor any investigation opened before January 20, 2020,” the department said. child safety in a statement following the incident. the arrest of the Loeras last year, AZFamily.come reported. The next scheduled court date for Rafael and Maribel Loera is April 13, according to prison records online.