Missouri mom charged with murder after falling asleep in car with 2 girls who later died

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 16:18:50-05

LIBERTY, Mo. - A Missouri mother has been indicted on murder and several other charges after she allegedly fell asleep in her vehicle last summer with her two young daughters, who later died, according to WDAF.

Jenna Boedecker, 30, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, four counts of child endangerment, one count of third-degree domestic assault, one count of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree property damage.

Court documents released in July say Boedecker told investigators she put the two girls, 2-year-old Ireland Ribando and 7-week-old Goodknight Ribando, in her Jeep Patriot sometime overnight between July 3 and 4. She said she didn't want them to hear her and her husband argue.

Boedecker told police the Jeep had very little gas in it, less than a sixteenth of a tank, according to court documents.

At some point, Boedecker said she fell asleep in the vehicle. When she woke up on July 4, she found her two girls unresponsive.

The Clay County mom told officials she took her daughters to a neighbor's home for help and tried to revive them. When first-responders arrived at the home, the little girls were pronounced dead.

Court documents detailing the two girls' official causes of death weren't immediately available Tuesday.

Read more: Newborn, toddler sisters found dead under mysterious circumstances

Boedecker remains in custody on a $500,000 bond.

The 30-year-old mom was originally charged with domestic assault, armed criminal action and property damage in July. Those charges stem from the fight with her husband the night of July 3. Boedecker allegedly threw a brick at her husband and rammed the truck he was driving with her Jeep.

Search warrants released in July revealed that a child services investigator responded to the Clay County home on the morning of July 4.

The investigator told police on July 3, the agency received a hotline call around 11 p.m. It was classified as an "assessment," which are typically addressed during business hours.

So the child services worker "put it off until the morning," the search warrant says.

The investigator said he went to Boedecker's home around 9:30 a.m. July 4 and saw a silver SUV in the driveway. He said the vehicle's rear lights were on, but he thought they were just left on by accident.

The child services investigator told police, when he pulled his vehicle in behind the SUV, he didn't see anyone inside. When he got out of his car, he didn't look inside the car as he walked around it. The investigator said he heard the engine running but didn't hear the fan for the air conditioning.

He told police if someone had been sitting upright in the car, he would have seen them. But he said he might not have seen children in the back or an adult if they were slumped over.

The man said he knocked on the family's home three times but didn't get a response, so he went back to his car and later left. His entire visit lasted no longer than five minutes, court documents say.