An 11-year-old girl’s body has been discovered in her family’s home after she had been missing for two years. Police have charged her adoptive parents, Rafael and Maribel Loera, with child abuse, concealing human body parts, endangerment, and concealment of a body, Arizona Republic reports.
Ana Loera, also known as Charisma Marquez, has been missing since 2017 after she had become severely ill. Her parents did not immediately take her to the hospital, and when they finally went, Charisma died on the way there, Rafael claimed.
Adoptive Parents Arrested After Remains of Their Missing 11-Year-Old Daughter Were Found in Attic
Now, the couple is being accused of keeping Charisma’s body in their attic since she died. The Phoenix Police Department found Charisma’s body after responding to a house fire in the Loera’s home on January 28, according to a press release shared on the city’s official website.
According to police reports, Rafael claimed that they were afraid they would lose custody of their other children if they reported Charisma had died. Instead, they decided to wrap her body in a sheet and hide her behind the drywall in the attic, reports the Arizona Republic.
Rafael also told police that he knew his wife abused Charisma, but never reported it. He would frequently leave Charisma with his wife while he was working two jobs. Maribel was reportedly known by her family to “have a bad temper.”
A week before the fire, police visited the home after receiving a call from a different 11-year-old who accused the couple of leaving her alone and hungry for two days, reported the Arizona Republic.
When police arrived at the house, they found the 11-year-old girl left alone and took her to Arizona’s Department of Child Safety. She told police that she had had a sister, but she disappeared in 2017, according to People. The girl said her father told her her missing sister had been adopted and is now in Mexico.
Right before the fire, DCS had come to the home and removed two more children from the home. According to a police report obtained by the Republic, the 9-year-old boy who was taken from home had too many injuries to count.
Rafael allegedly started the fire to kill himself, but someone reported the fire shortly after it started. It was after first responders responded to the fire that the remains of Charisma’s body were found.When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.