Police find toddler remains in toy chest; mom and dad charged

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Police find toddler remains in toy chest; mom and dad charged

By Ina Ronquillo, Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Mar 4, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 5, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Raquel Barreras, 39, has been charged with one count of homicide and child abuse following the discovery of the skeletal remains of her son, Roman.

Police received a 911 call at 3:08 p.m. on Tuesday from the landlord of the home, saying they had found human remains on the property.

Police also tell KGUN9 the house was vacant.

The landlord who rents the property was at the house cleaning, when they came across the skeleton in a blue toy chest.

Tucson Police held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the latest developments in the case of the remains found in the 700 block of West Idaho.

Tucson Police Chief Robert Villaseñor spoke briefly about the incident and answered a few questions from the media.

Police has previously visited the home in November 2012.

The family was evicted from the home and was located in the 100 block of West Pennsylvania.

Raquel Barreras, the mother, has been charged with one count of homicide and one count of child abuse.

Martin Barreras, the father, has been charge with one count of child abuse.

Raquel and Martin, have four other children ages 19, 12, 7, and 4. Their fifth child, Roman, was 3. 

Detectives were able to locate the parents and four of the children at a residence in the 100 block of West Pennsylvania Street.

The children of this family has been previously removed from the home by Child Protective Service, but have since been returned.

Tucson Unified School District released the following statement regarding the absence of a family member:

"The staff at Van Buskirk grew very concerned about a pattern of unexplained absences of a student who is a member of this family. A community rep and dropout prevention specialist did home visits to try and return the student to school but could never connect with the family. School staff filed two reports with Child Protective Services (CPS) and eventually called Tucson Police to perform a welfare check on the student. The student never returned to school."

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