Mon. May 20th, 2024

A woman from New Jersey has been charged with murdering her two daughters by drugging them at a home in Phoenix, police said.

Retta Renee Cruse, a 35-year-old woman originally from Pleasantville, was charged Tuesday in Phoenix with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 4-year-old Royal McIntyre and 9-year-old Aleyah McIntyre.

The girls were discovered dead in bed on Sept. 8 with no apparent signs of trauma, but arrest records obtained by the newspaper suggest Cruse used medications to “sedate and overdose” her young daughters.

A prescribed medication that matched other pills in a bottle partially filled with an unknown liquid was discovered near the girls’ mouths and a prescription bottle of oxycodone was also found in their room, records show.

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Cruse was found nude inside the residence with multiple self-inflicted stab wounds and lacerations. A knife was also discovered nearby, authorities said.

A man whose name was redacted in arrest records told investigators Cruse was “upset over a recent court hearing” in which she was set to lose custody of one of her daughters.

The man told cops Cruse believed both girls had COVID-19, prompting her to isolate them and treat them with medication to “help them sleep,” records show.

Cruse, who was hospitalized after her daughters were found dead, was arrested following her release Tuesday.

Investigators are still awaiting toxicology tests on the girls, the station reported. They were found facing each other in bed, with their “arms around each other” as though they had been intentionally placed in that position, cops wrote in a probable cause statement.

Cruse, meanwhile, remains held on $2 million bond and her preliminary hearing has been set for September 23. It’s unclear if she’s hired an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com

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