Authorities in Rancho Cordova, California, say a couple, Angela Phakhin, 27, and Untwan Smith, 46, both of Arkansas, was arrested after a 3-year-old girl was found dead in the back seat of their SUV, ABC News reports.
At around 12 p.m. on Wednesday, a Rancho Cordova motorcycle police officer questioned a couple who was standing near a white Toyota Rav-4 that was parked on the wrong side of the road on Rod Beaudry Drive.
When it was determined that the couple were the owners of the vehicle, the officer executed a records check, revealing that Smith had an outstanding warrant out of Arkansas.
Police say while searching the couple’s SUV, they discovered the body of an unresponsive girl in the back seat, underneath several blankets.
Paramedics were called to the scene and pronounced the girl, whose name has not been released, dead.
It was reported that there were no obvious signs of trauma on the girl’s body. Her remains were sent to the Sacramento Coroner’s Office for a complete autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Relatives say that Phakhin left Arkansas five or six months ago, and they believed that she was relocating to Texas. It wasn’t until the girl was found dead in the couple’s SUV that they learned she was living in Springdale.
Rancho Cordova police officials believe that Phakhin and Smith were living out of their SUV with the girl.
Angela is reportedly the biological mother of the girl found dead in the SUV, but Smith is not the child’s father.
The couple was arrested at the scene in connection to the child’s death. Phakhin and Smith are now facing child endangerment charges, but they could face more charges pending the autopsy results.
Phakhin and Smith are being held at the county jail on a $1 million bond, and they are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday at the Sacramento Superior Courthouse.
If anyone has information on what happened to the child who was found dead in the SUV, you are urged to contact the sheriff’s office at (916) 874-5115 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP.
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