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3 moms are accused of killing their kids in separate Valley incidents in last 5 months

Two of the three incidents happened within the month of September alone.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The video above is from the most recent incident in south Phoenix on Sept. 27.

Three Valley mothers have been accused of killing their young children in separate incidents within the last five months. 

Five children under the age of 10 were killed and one remains in critical condition. 

Editor's note: This story contains graphic details.


On May 15, two children, ages 7 and 9, were found dead in a Tempe apartment. Their mother, Yui Inoue, has since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for their deaths. 

Inoue told police she heard voices telling her to kill the children when she made contact with police officers on the day of the incident. 

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Phoenix apartment building

On Sept. 8, two children ages 4 and 7, were found dead in a Phoenix apartment building after an apparent overdose of medication. Their mother, Retta Cruse, 35, was found with self-inflicted wounds and a knife. She was arrested and charged with their murders after being released from the hospital. 

Initially, Cruse told officers that someone suggested she kill the children and herself to avoid having them taken in custody disputes, but has since denied knowing the girls were dead when police arrived. 

On the scene, officers found a written and signed note near the two girls with a motive and a signature matching the signature on Cruse's driver license's, a prescription pill by the girls' mouths and a prescription bottle in Cruse's room with similar-looking pills.

The bottle label read acetaminophen and a prescription bottle of oxycodone was also in the room with the girls, documents say. 

RELATED: Mother charged with killing 2 young daughters in Phoenix

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South Phoenix home 

On Monday, a 2-year-old died and her 6-year-old brother was left in critical condition after their mother allegedly shot them in their south Phoenix home. Esther Callejas, 24, is facing one murder charge in the incident. 

Neighbors told 12 News off-camera that Callejas was dealing with some mental health issues, but police have not given any indication of a motive.

RELATED: Mom of 2 children shot in south Phoenix arrested, accused of murder

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