Skeletal remains allegedly belonged to adopted daughter

Rafael Loera, 56, and Maribel Loera, 50, of Phoenix, Arizona. [Image credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office]

More information is coming out about the skeletal remains found after a house fire in Arizona.


According to court documents, the 11-year-old girl that initially called police had informed them that she had been alone for two days and was hungry.  When the Arizona Department of Child Safety showed up to the residence they found a home which "appeared in disarray as it was dirty with what appeared to be human feces throughout the residence on the floors," according to the criminal complaint filed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.


The girl showed signs of previous abuse including scars from burns on her left shoulder and "numerous abrasions."


When the 9-year-old boy was removed from the home, the criminal complaint stated that his injuries included "cuts and abrasions on face, loop marks on legs, injuries too numerous to count."


According to KPNX, the girl told police that she had an older sister that had gone missing about two years ago. According to documents Maribel Loera is said to have told the girl that her sister was adopted and sent to Columbia while Rafael Loera is said to have said that she was adopted and sent to Mexico.


The girl is additionally said to have told police that her foster mother had a "bad temper" and would hit her with various objects while slamming her head into walls.


Rafael stated that he didn't report Maribel's abuse of the children because he was fearful of her hurting him as well.  He is said to have told police that Maribel began to hit him with a broom handle on one occasion when he attempted to defend the children.


According to the complaint, Rafael hid the older girl's body after she died for fear that the other children would be removed from their care.  It is not known at this time if the three children removed from the home last month are adopted or fostered.  Several months after the girl died, the Loreas are said to have adopted another baby girl.


"Rafael disclosed in July 2017, while the child was on summer break, she became ill," according to the complaint.


"Rafael waited several days to seek medical treatment before attempting to take her to Phoenix Children's Hospital. Rafael detailed how she died en route to the hospital. The child had been throwing up in the days leading up to her death and had what he described as convulsions before passing away."


Rafael is said to have wrapped her body in a sheet before placing it into the attic of the home where it remained until discovered by fire crews checking to ensure the fire he had set was fully extinguished.


AZ Central reports that the family had recently left Arizona for Minnesota, but that Rafael had returned with the 11-year-old girl in a move to try and protect her.  He said though, that he could not afford to remain at home with her so would leave her alone "for the majority of the day."  It was only after the girl was taken into DCS custody that Maribel is said to have returned to Arizona with the other two children.


The investigation is still ongoing.