Police in Arizona have accused a Casa Grande mother of stabbing her ex-husband and then force-feeding narcotics to her four children — which killed her 13-year-old daughter — on Christmas day.
According to KNXV, 33-year-old Adam Villa contacted police on Christmas night to say that he had been stabbed by his wife, 35-year-old Connie Villa, and was driving himself to the hospital.
Officers responding to the scene found Connie Villa holding a knife to her chest. She had already suffered multiple stab wounds.
Daughter Aniarael Macias, age 13, was found dead in a bathroom. And investigators were able to determine that three other children also had trace amounts of opiates in their system, according to The Arizona Republic. The surviving children were ages 3, 5 and 8.
Connie Villa was taken into custody and charged with one count of first degree murder and four counts of attempted murder.
At a press conference on Sunday, police said that the mother had forced the children to take “prescription narcotic drugs in an attempt to kill them.”
“On behalf of Michael Macias, Ania’s father, Vera Macias, Ania’s grandmother and extended family, we request that the focus of this tragedy be a celebration of our precious Ania’s life,” the family said in a statement on Sunday. “She was a gentle, kind and beautiful spirit who was taken from us much too soon.”
“We are writing this statement in hopes that the media and other outlets will allow Michael and our family to grieve peacefully. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for our family. We appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts. We pray that justice will be served.”
A toxicology report was expected to take up to three weeks to complete.
Watch the video below from KNXV, broadcast Dec. 29, 2013.