UPDATE Feb. 4, 2020:
Official documents show the human remains found in a Phoenix home last week belong to a child who died in 2017, KNXV reports.
On January 20, officers received a call from an 11-year-old girl who said she had been home alone for two days and was hungry. The girl said her foster mother, Maribel Loera, was in Minnesota with her younger siblings, a 4-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy.
Responding officers noticed the home was in "disarray" and had human feces throughout the floors.
The 11-year-old had told officials that Maribel was physically abusive and would strike her with knotted extension cords. She had injuries consistent with being struck with a "rope like object."
The 11-year-old told officials that she had an older sister who disappeared two years earlier. The girl was told by Maribel that her sister was adopted and sent to Columbia, but Rafael told her the sister was sent to Mexico.
Jan. 31, 2020:
PHOENIX (KTLA) -- Two Phoenix parents whose children had just been removed from their custody were arrested after authorities responded to a fire at their home and discovered human skeletal remains.
Rafael Loera, 56, and Maribel Loera, 50, were arrested Tuesday and face charges of child abuse after several children were removed from the home and put in the custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, according to the Phoenix Police Department. Rafael Loera also faces additional charges for allegedly concealing human body parts, endangerment and arson, police said.
On January 20, an 11-year-old girl inside the family’s home called Phoenix Police and said she was home alone, police said in a news release.
Officers performed a welfare check and soon “discovered evidence of child abuse,” police said.
DCS later learned of two additional children, according to police, ages 4 and 9. DCS officials removed them from the home Tuesday.
But the case didn’t end there. About an hour after DCS officials took custody of the 4-year-old and 9-year-old, a neighbor called authorities and said smoke was coming from the home, Cox said.
The Phoenix Fire Department responded, and after crews extinguished the fire, they discovered human skeletal remains inside the home, police said.