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MILWAUKEE – A Wisconsin mother was charged Thursday in the deaths of her two young children whom prosecutors say she drugged and suffocated before stabbing herself in a failed suicide attempt.
Lucia Hernandez Alvarez faces life in prison if she is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of her 3-year-old daughter, Alicia, and 1-year-old son, Javier.
Prosecutors have said she gave away all her money and jewelry to family before giving the children liquid painkillers and killing them as they slept.
Hernandez Alvarez's public defender, Mackenzie Renner, could not be reached for comment on the case, and messages left with the Kenosha County Public Defender's Office weren't returned. Renner has voiced concern that her client hasn't been given proper mental health care in the county jail where she has been held since her arrest before dawn Saturday.
The children's father, Juan Javier Arellano, found the scene after returning home from work shortly after 3 a.m.
"Apparently the father of the children called and said something to the effect of 'she's killing our children,'" Kenosha Police Lt. Brad Hetlet said.
Arellano was sobbing in front of the house when police arrived, according to the criminal complaint. Other family members were huddled together in the driveway "crying hysterically," the document stated.
Police say they found Hernandez Alvarez in bed with the children's bodies, covered in blood.
Blood was also pooled and spattered throughout the home and had apparently been used to write several notes, including "Mi Amor Javier" on a bedroom wall. Authorities say Hernandez Alvarez confessed to the killings as she was being taken to the hospital, saying: "It was all me. I did it."
At the hospital, according to the complaint, Hernandez Alvarez said she had been sad for the last year and that she suspected Arellano of cheating.
Hernandez Alvarez later told police that she and Arellano had been arguing a lot, including a quarrel Friday afternoon just before he left for work. She said she was upset because he wanted to leave more than an hour and a half before his shift and that showed he wanted to be with his friends more than her.
She said she decided to kill herself after he yelled hurtful things, and she told one of his co-workers before they left, "please take care of him, he's going to need you."
After killing the children, she left Arellano a note, detailing her actions and the time of death for each child. A police officer said the note read: "My kids I am taking so they won't bother you. I also guarantee they did not suffer."
She drank alcohol, took pills and sliced her upper arms with a knife in her suicide attempt.
Arellano could not be reached for comment. Authorities say he isn't a suspect.