Woman called her mother and said “I killed them with my bare hands” after she suffocated her 2-year-old twin daughters in the back of her vehicle and then planned to walk into the ocean “to be with her babies in heaven”; sentenced

Court records show that a 28-year-old woman, later identified as Tenia, has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of her twin two-year-old daughters, later identified as Jasmine and Jaida. This tragic incident, marked by mental illness and despair, culminated in a guilty plea on two counts of first-degree murder.

The harrowing events unfolded on June 27, 2019, when Tenia’s mother made a distressing 911 call around 2:37 p.m. She reported that Tenia was threatening to kill her children and herself. According to reports, Tenia later told her mother over the phone that she had “killed them with my bare hands” and mentioned plans to walk into the ocean “to be with her babies in heaven.”

Authorities launched an extensive search operation spanning the area, and several hours later, a police officer located Tenia’s van. Upon discovery, officers found Tenia outside the van, with her daughters, Jasmine and Jaida, deceased in their car seats. The victims’ grandmother reported that Tenia had been acting irrationally and angrily before the incident and had a very long history of mental illness. Following her arrest, Tenia was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. On December 13, 2023, she pleaded guilty. Prosecutors stated that while the 20-year sentence resolves the case, it does not compensate for the loss of the two young girls, who were tragically betrayed by the one person meant to protect them.

Tenia’s sentencing to a minimum of 20 years to life in prison marks the conclusion of a deeply tragic case, leaving a lasting impact on the community and raising critical questions about mental health support and intervention in crisis situations. The case has brought attention to issues surrounding mental health and the dire consequences it can have if left untreated. As the community grapples with this tragedy, the focus has shifted to the importance of mental health awareness and support systems to prevent such incidents in the future.

Jordan Collins

Jordan is an experienced editor with years in the journalism and reporting industry. He loves talking with the community about the problems local residents face and state politics. You can find him in the gym almost every day or see him jogging.

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