New details have emerged regarding the horrific murder of three children who were smothered by their mother despite being in a house full of family members.
In a recent video call from prison, 22-year-old Rachel Henry revealed to her aunt that she was under the influence on the day her kids died and “didn’t know what was going on.”
The haunting murders happened back in January — with Henry allegedly killing her children one by one, a police report at the time stated. She first began with her 1-year-old, Miraya Henry.
“Rachel was playing with the 1-year-old female and was wrestling on top of her,” according to the police report. “Rachel felt the 1-year-old female’s breathing was obstructed but continued to impede her breath by placing her hand over the 1-year-old female’s mouth.”
The 3-year-old son Zane Henry attempted to stop his mother as she allegedly smothered his sister and began screaming at his mother “in an attempt to get her to stop” and even tried punching her “to no avail.”
Miraya’s legs eventually stopped moving, which is how Henry knew she was dead, and police say she then moved on to Zane, chasing him around the house.
She was “interrupted” when other family members came home but oddly, no one knew anything as wrong. One even stopped to play with Zane but after a short while, Henry took her son into another room and again attempted to overpower him.
She then straddled Zane with one of her legs and “placed her hand over his nose and mouth.”
None of the other family members realized what was going on in the room with Henry and Zane. The mom even began singing her son a song as he scratched at her chest and pinched her to try to free himself, according to reports. Henry continued doing this for minutes until he, too, died.
She then allegedly went to her 7-month-old daughter, Catalaya Rios, and killed her too.
Police first said she fed her baby girl a bottle in the bedroom until the infant fell asleep and then she began singing again. She then placed her hand over Catalaya’s mouth until she couldn’t breathe, fell unconscious, and then died — authorities reported.
The mother of three is also accused of carrying their bodies to the living room and placing them on a couch to look like they were napping. She said nothing of what she had done to other family members who were in the house at the time. Eventually, Henry’s aunt, Pearl Rebolledo, discovered the three children and urged the mom to call 911.
The aunt revealed to the police how Henry just stared at the phone so she had to make the call herself. And while the children were rushed to the hospital after the phone call, they could not be saved and were declared dead.
Later, her aunt informed authorities that Henry had been “acting strange the past several days” after the childrens’ deaths. Allegedly, Henry had a methamphetamine addiction — something she seemed to confirm in a recent six-minute call from prison with Rebolledo.
Video of the phone call was recorded and the mom can be heard telling her aunt that on the day of the murders she “felt like I was losing my mind.” In the phone call, Henry told her aunt that her family did not take her claims about her mental health seriously.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” she continued. “I told you I felt like I was losing my mind, because I didn’t understand why you guys, why everyone was acting the way they were. I didn’t, I was on drugs. I was freaking out and I didn’t know what to do. I know I was scared. That is the point I kept telling you,” she told her aunt.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I tried to talk to someone, they said I was stupid or I was scared, and I didn’t know what I was talking about.” She alleged that she didn’t “remember doing it” and was not herself on the day she killed her kids.
But despite entering a not guilty plea to all three counts, Henry allegedly confessed to police to killing son Zane Henry, 3, and daughters Miraya Henry, who was almost 2, and Catalaya Rios, who was 7 months.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.