An Arizona mother stabbed her three young children to death before trying to kill herself in their Phoenix home Wednesday night, police say.
Octavia Rogers, 29, killed her sons, 8-year-old Jaikare Rahaman, 5-year-old Jeremiah Adams and 2-month-old Avery Robinson, her mother told The Arizona Republic.
She was found inside the home harming herself by her brother, who had returned home from work, according to police.
Rogers told her brother she was pregnant and stabbed herself in the stomach to try to kill the unborn baby, police said. Investigators have not confirmed the pregnancy.
Rogers survived her suicide attempt and is hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition, police said. She is expected to live and will likely face homicide charges, according to police.
“It was an absolutely horrific scene for the officers and for her brother to arrive to,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump told KPHO-TV.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Boys Were Found Dismembered in a Closet & the Baby Was ‘Stuffed’ Inside a Suitcase
Police said they were told Octavia Rogers had children and searched the house for them when they arrived at the scene near Interstate 17 and Bell Road. Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump said bodies of the three boys were found inside a closet.
“It appears at this point that the children were likely stabbed to death and that parts of their bodies were dismembered,” Crump told reporters, according to KPNX-TV.
He told KPHO-TV the 2-month-old boy had been “stuffed” inside a suitcase.
The boys’ grandmother, Tanella McCoy, told The Arizona Republic she had last seen her daughter when she left for work at about 9:15 p.m. The boys were found early Thursday morning when McCoy’s son arrived home from work.
McCoy told the newspaper Jeremiah was her “muscleman” who would carry cases of water inside the house for her. She said Avery was a “very good baby,” who had just started to learn how to smile. And she said Jaikare was a “book scholar,” according to the Arizona Republic.
“He learned how to read and everywhere we went he’d say, ‘Grandma, this says …” McCoy told the newspaper. “it’s really hard to tell you about them because I don’t know what do from this point today.”
2. She Stabbed Herself in the Abdomen & Neck Multiple Times Before Trying to Drown Herself in a Bathtub
Rogers’s brother told police he arrived home at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday and found her acting irrationally, KPHO-TV reports. He said she locked him in the garage.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump told reporters the brother forced his way into the home and found Rogers stabbing herself multiple times in the abdomen and neck. Crump said her brother called 911 and went to grab towels. When he came back, he said Rogers was trying to drown herself in a bathtub.
Rogers was then taken to the hospital. Crump said she told the emergency responders that her children were with other family members, but they searched the house and found their bodies inside.
“She will be in the hospital for some time with some very serious self-inflicted injuries,” Crump told reporters. “It’s a murder investigation at this point.”
3. Rogers Had Recently Moved Back to Arizona From Virginia Before Her Third Son’s Birth
Rogers, an Arizona native, moved to Virginia in 2014, according to public records. She moved back to her home state recently, before the birth of her third son. She was living in a home owned by her mother, The Arizona Republic reports.
She works as insurance agent for State Farm in Phoenix.
Rogers graduated from South Mountain High School in Phoenix, according to her Facebook page.
4. The Boys’ Grandmother Called Rogers a ‘Good Mother’ & the Police Say She Didn’t Have a History of Mental Illness
The boys’ grandmother told The Arizona Republic that Octavia Rogers was a “good mother,” who “didn’t go out, she didn’t party, she didn’t do any of that.”
Tanella McCoy told the newspaper she didn’t see anything wrong with her daughter the last time she saw her, just hours before the boys were found dead. She also said Rogers had no reason to be overwhelmed by the stresses of being a mother, because she had a lot of help.
“I don’t know what to feel right now. I don’t know where to go, I don’t know where to turn,” she told The Republic. “My daughter knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would take her kids … because there were times she would talk to me about leaving for the summer.”
Police Sergeant Trent Crump said at a news conference that Rogers did not have any known history of mental illness.
Neighbor Frank Segura told KPNX-TV, “I never could have imagined that she could do something like this.”
He said he often saw the children playing outside, “always joking around, doing kids’ stuff out in the front, riding their bikes.”
5. She Was Talking About Religion & ‘Finding the Answer,’ Police Say
Rogers’ brother said that when he returned home from work, his sister met him in the garage and was talking about religion and how she had found the answer and the meaning of life, the Associated Press reports.
Police Sergeant Trent Crump said the brother told investigators religion was recently a subject of interest to her.
Her Facebook page includes several recent references to religion.
She recently shared a photo about how taking God out of schools and getting soft on discipline had destroyed America:
She says her favorite quote is Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you: He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Another favorite quote is, “NEVER TRY AND CARRY TOMORROW’S BURDEN WITH TODAY’S GRACE.”