In a heinous turn of events on Christmas Day, an Arizona mother of four was arrested and charged with murdering her 13-year-old daughter. Connie Villa, 35, from Casa Grande, killed her daughter and attempted to murder her other three children and her ex-husband, reports ABC News on Dec. 29.
The Christmas Day rampage shocked residents of Casa Grande, a city located approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.
Villa faces first-degree murder charges in the death of 13-year-old Aniarael Macias. Evidence at the crime scene also leads investigators to believe Villa planned to kill her three younger children – ages 3, 5 and 8 – along with her ex-husband, Adam Villa, 33.
Villa was placed under arrest Sunday after she was released from the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, where she was first taken after police said they found self-inflicted stab wounds on her body.
Aniarael was found dead in the bathroom of the family’s apartment on Wednesday night after Adam Villa called 911 to report his ex-wife had repeatedly stabbed him.
Investigators said Connie lured her ex-husband to her apartment, where she stabbed him in the torso. Her eldest daughter had no visible wounds; police think Villa poisoned her or forced her to overdose on prescription medications.
Villa's younger children were taken to the hospital, and toxicology reports showed all three had opiates in their system, leading police to surmise that Villa was attempting to kill off her entire family.
An autopsy was conducted on Anariel on Saturday. Police are still searching for a motive in the senseless killing.
"We are anxiously awaiting the results of the toxicology report to determine that [cause of death]," Casa Grande Police Department spokesman Thomas Anderson said. "Evidence found on scene and interviews of the children give us cause to believe Aniarael was also given some type of prescription narcotic drug."
Adam Villa is the father of Connie Villa's three younger children, who are in the care of Adam’s family as he recovers in the hospital. He is not the biological father of Aniarael, but police said the father is cooperating with their investigation.