PCSO: Mother arrested after 2 children found dead inside vehicle in Superior

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Authorities say that 20-year-old Brittany Velasquez, the mother of the two children, was arrested and is being charged with two counts of murder. (Source: PCSO, 3TV/CBS 5) Authorities say that 20-year-old Brittany Velasquez, the mother of the two children, was arrested and is being charged with two counts of murder. (Source: PCSO, 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Go Fund Me) (Source: Go Fund Me)
Mugshot of Brittany Velasquez, 20. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Mugshot of Brittany Velasquez, 20. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: PCSO, 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: PCSO, 3TV/CBS 5)
SUPERIOR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has arrested a mother after her two children were found dead in a vehicle in Superior Monday night. 

Sheriff's spokeswoman Navideh Forghani said that 20-year-old Brittany Velasquez was arrested and is being charged with two counts of murder.

At around 11:15 p.m., Pinal sheriff detectives were called to assist Superior Police Department at a home near Richard Avenue and Palo Verde Drive. That's when they found the bodies of a 2-year-old boy and a 10-month-old girl inside of a vehicle. 

A family member identified the victims as Brooklyn Rose Miranda and Christopher Miranda. 

According to Forghani, both children were found strapped in their car seats. Pinal County Sheriff deputies found the evidence on scene that indicated foul play.

The family of the two children told Arizona's Family that law enforcement and the Department of Child Safety had been called to the home on more than one occasion. 

According to DCS, there was "insufficient evidence to prove the allegations."

The grandmother told Arizona's Family that she feels that the system has failed her. 

Apparently, family members say they tried to get Velasquez help after her husband died 9 months ago of a drug overdose.

An autopsy is being conducted on the children at this time, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. 

Velasquez made her first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon.

[RAW VIDEO: Brittany Velasquez first court appearance]

She is being held on a $2 million bond.

Her next court date is April 30.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety has released the following statement in the case:

In response to news reports involving Brittany Velasquez, the Department would like to confirm, clarify and correct some details made public by other sources.

DCS has two prior reports involving Brittany Velasquez and her children.

On October 6, 2016, the Department received a neglect report that alleged Ms. Velasquez would leave her child with the maternal grandmother. The report alleged that the grandmother was too old to properly care for the child.

A DCS investigation concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations.

The child was seen on multiple occasions during the investigation. The DCS investigator concluded there were no indications the child was being abused or neglected and there were no legal grounds to remove the child.

Superior police responded to the grandmother’s home on an unrelated matter. Police reported that they had observed the child and the child appeared healthy.

The case was unsubstantiated and closed.

On January 5, 2018, the Department received a neglect report that alleged Ms. Velasquez left her children for extended periods of time with the maternal grandmother without adequate supplies to care for the children.

A DCS investigation revealed the mother was employed and was relying on the grandmother to help care for the children.

Ms. Velasquez did not reside with the grandmother. DCS observed Ms. Velasquez’s Mesaapartment and determined it contained all the supplies to properly care for the children. 

Ms. Velazquez was participating in a home visitation program. 

The children showed no visible signs of abuse or neglect. There were no legal grounds to remove the children from the parent’s custody. The Department provided daycare for the children at no cost to Ms. Velasquez so she did not have to leave her children with the grandmother.

The case was unsubstantiated and closed.

DCS had never taken custody of the children and did not place the children with the grandparents.  In both reports, there was no evidence that the mother was abusing or neglecting her children.

While there were concerns raised regarding Ms. Velasquez’s previous mental health, no evidence was presented by anyone that indicated mental health issues were impeding Ms. Velasquez’s ability to parent.

We understand these types of tragic events evoke emotional reactions; we too feel pain when children suffer.  However, we can only make decisions based on the available evidence and what the law allows. The Department acted in good faith based on the information we received and exercised our due diligence during these prior investigations.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me account to help with the children's funeral expenses:

https://www.gofundme.com/infant-and-toddler-funeral-costs

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