KEARNEY, Mo. – A Missouri woman whose two young children died after being found unresponsive on July Fourth has been charged with assaulting her husband in the hours before the children were found, according to police records.
Jenna Boedecker was charged Thursday with third-degree assault, armed criminal action and first-degree property damage, all felonies, after an argument with her husband about alleged infidelity, The Kansas City Star reported.
Investigators said Boedecker found her 2-year-old and newborn daughters unresponsive Wednesday outside a home in a rural area east of Kearney, northeast of Kansas City. Paramedics tried to revive them, but the children were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police haven't said how the girls died, but said investigators determined the deaths weren't caused by water, road or firearms-related causes.
Investigators initially said foul play wasn't suspected. But on Thursday, the Clay County sheriff said a squad of criminal investigators was asked to help with the case. No charges have been filed in the girls' deaths.
When authorities contacted Boedecker's husband about the girls' deaths, he said he and his wife argued late Tuesday about him cheating on her, according to court records, which identify the husband only as "J.A.R."
He told investigators that as he began to leave, Boedecker threw a brick toward his vehicle and then rammed it with a Jeep Patriot, according to the court records. The husband was staying with his mother in nearby Kearney when police informed him of the girls' deaths.
When asked if Boedecker was a suspect in her daughters' deaths, Clay County Deputy Jon Bazzano said: "The only thing I'm comfortable saying is she's charged with assault. And it's too early for me to put labels on something when we're trying to determine exactly what happened."
Bazzano said the probe remains a death investigation. The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office said it could not release any information because the investigation was ongoing.
Boedecker remains in jail on $75,000s bond and she has been ordered not to have any contact with her husband. Her next court date is Monday.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com