PHOENIX — Police say a mother was killed and three of her children were found alone inside the family's Phoenix apartment Monday night.
Phoenix police said just before 7:30 p.m., officers responded to a welfare check call near 19th Avenue and Camelback Road regarding two young children crying on an apartment porch.
Officers arrived at the scene and found the two unsupervised toddlers, ages two and three.
The officers then entered the apartment and found a woman, later identified as 30-year-old Shavone Robinson, dead with obvious signs of trauma.
Police said a 4-week-old infant was also found in the apartment. Robinson's family tells ABC15 a fourth child, a 6-year-old boy, was not home at the time.
The three children were taken to a local hospital and were later released in good conditions.
Robinson's older sister, Kika, told ABC15 her sister had just moved into the Tides on the 19th.
"She moved over there right before she had her daughter. Her four-week-old baby," said Kika Robinson. "She’s trying to take care of her kids herself. She works full-time."
The four-week-old baby was near her mother when police say she was murdered.
The infant will likely not remember anything that happened, but the two and three-year-old toddlers were found naked and crying on the balcony.
"The trauma those kids are going to have to live through every day, and that baby doesn’t even know the mom. They'll have to grow up with questions that can’t be answered," said Precious Ballard, who lived in the same apartment complex.
"I'm like praying to God that they are young enough not to really fully understand," said Kika, the kids' aunt.
"But even if they don’t remember the incident, their childhood is going to be surrounded around this incident," said Sgt. Ann Justus, who said officers were affected on scene by the horrific crime and emotional children.
Detectives have released very few details as they go over the evidence and work to zero-in on a suspect.
"We don’t have any answers. We don’t understand why or how this happened," said Kika, who said she understands investigations take time but hopes for more communication.
The older sister also said the family hopes to learn more from the autopsy about when Shavone may have been murdered.
"It may have been a couple of days before the welfare check," she said. "We’ve been calling and texting her [but] haven’t been able to get through. Her iPhone is not there. We don’t know where her phone is."
Shavone was a valley native and the youngest of eight kids.
"It’s just really hard because she’s my younger sister we don’t really know what happened to her. We don't have any answers," said Kika. "I really want my sister to get justice. I know someone knows something."