Update: Casa Grande mother admits to killing to teenage daughter, poisoning children
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - A Casa Grande mother confessed to police she killed her teenage daughter, tried poisoning all her children and killing her ex-husband on Christmas, Casa Grande police said Tuesday morning.
35-year-old Connie Villa told police her motive for attempting to kill her children was because she did not want her ex-husband Adam Villa to have custody, Casa Grande police spokesperson Thomas Anderson said in a press release.
Connie Villa admitted she was "unsuccessful" in forcing her 13-year-old daughter Aniarael Macias to ingest the drugs, so she forcefully suffocated her to death with her bare hands, Anderson said.
Police are asking the Pima County Medical Examiner to to look for signs of suffocation on Macias' body. Initial autopsy results did not reveal a cause of death.
Police are charging Connie Villa with one count of 1st Degree Murder and four counts of Attempted 1st Degree Murder. The Pinal County Attorney's office plans to file formal charges soon.
Police arrested Connie Villa on Sunday morning after she was released from the hospital where she was recovering from self-inflicted stab wounds.
Investigators are waiting on toxicology results before they release the names of the drugs Connie Villa used to poison her children, Anderson said.
Before police released a motive, 9 On Your Side spoke with neighbors who were struggling to understand why a mother would try to murder her own children.
"Why would you bring something in this world and then take it back?" neighbor Trudy-Ann Capbell said. "Why would a mother do that to her own child?"
Neighbors tell 9 on Your Side Connie Villa and her children only lived at The Colony Apartments for a couple of months.
Court records show Adam Villa filed for a divorce in December 2012 and the divorce went through two months ago. Adam called police on Christmas saying his ex-wife had stabbed him.
When police arrived at the home, they found Connie Villa had also stabbed herself and her three youngest children, ages 3, 5, 8, where by her side.
Police found Macias' body in the bathroom.
"We request that the focus of this tragedy be a celebration of our precious Ania's life," the family of her biological father Michael Macias said in a statement. "She a was gentle, kind and beautiful spirit who was taken from us much too soon."
The siblings are in "good condition" and staying with their father's family, Casa Grande police said.
Their mother is due back in court next week. She is being held in the Pinal County Jail without bond.