Aniarael Macias update: Connie Villa poisoned family in attempt to kill them, police say

CASA GRANDE, AZ - A Casa Grande mother is accused of murdering her 13-year-old daughter, attempting to poison her three children and stab her ex-husband on Christmas Day, authorities said Sunday.

Authorities arrested Connie Villa, 35, and said she faces one count of first degree murder and four counts of attempted murder after she forced her children -- ages 3, 5, 8 and 13 years old -- to take "prescription narcotic drugs in an attempt to kill them" on Christmas Day.

Aniarael Macias, 13, was found dead in the bathroom of her family's home in Casa Grande last Wednesday, according to police.

Authorities were called to a home at the Colony Apartments in Casa Grande on Christmas night after the woman's ex-husband, 33-year-old Adam Villa, called police and said that he had been stabbed by his ex-wife.

He told police he was driving himself to the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.

Officers forced themselves into the mother's apartment and found her holding a knife to her chest and suffering from multiple stab wounds, according to a police press release. The woman's three other children were standing unharmed at her side.

Authorities secured the scene and transported both the mother and children to Phoenix-area hospitals. The three children each had "trace amounts" of opiates in their systems, according to a press release.

Casa Grande police on Sunday afternoon said the children were in "good condition" and Child Protective Services placed them with the family of Adam Villa.

Adam Villa is in stable condition at a Phoenix hospital.

On Sunday afternoon, Aniarael's family issued the following statement:

On behalf of Michael Macias, Ania's father, Vera Macias, Ania's grandmother and extended family, we request that the focus of this tragedy be a celebration of our precious Ania's life. She was a gentle, kind and beautiful spirit who was taken from us much too soon. Michael and his family are heartbroken. Ania was always smiling. She loved her brothers and sisters. She enjoyed spending time with her father and sister Gaby. We are writing this statement in hopes that the media and other outlets will allow Michael and our family to grieve peacefully. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for our family. We appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts. We pray that justice will be served.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

An autopsy was conducted by Pima County, but it did not identify an official cause of death. Results for a toxicology report on Macias and the other three children could take two to three weeks.

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