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Phoenix mother accused of drugging, killing young daughters, police documents say

Retta Cruse
Posted at 10:23 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 21:23:11-04

PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother is accused of killing her two daughters by reportedly drugging them, police say.

Four-year-old Royal McIntyre and a 9-year-old Aleyah McIntyre were found unresponsive in a bed at a home near 13th Street and Mountain View Road last week.

According to court documents, the mother of the two victims, Retta Renee Cruse, 35, was found barricaded in a bedroom with self-inflicted knife wounds.

Retta Cruse

Investigators determined Cruse used prescription and over-the-counter medications to sedate and overdose the children.

Pills and liquids were located around the home and near the children, as well as a note signed by Cruse about the motive.

Cruse reportedly said she believed the children had COVID-19, so she was isolating them and herself, as well as giving them medication to help them sleep.

However, during interviews, Cruse reportedly denied knowing how the girls died and denied knowing about the confession letter.

Investigators also learned she was upset over a recent custody hearing.

She was booked into jail for two counts of first-degree murder on September 14 after being released from the hospital where she was treated for her wounds.

Officials say Cruse is considered mentally disturbed.