Mother facing federal charges for allegedly murdering her 2 children

Mother facing federal charges for allegedly murdering her 2 children

Federal charges have been filed against a New Mexico woman in connection to her children's deaths.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal charges have been filed against a New Mexico woman in connection to her children’s deaths.

32-year-old Mariah Zuni, who lives on Isleta Pueblo, is accused of killing her five-year-old and nine-month-old sons last week.

Local and federal investigators were called to a home last Thursday. According to court documents, Zuni had partially washed off blood on her hands and blood on her neck when they got to the home. They said they found the boys inside the house with their throats cut.

“It also details a couple of statements that she made to law enforcement, both as they were responding to the emergent situation of these children, and then later when she sat down with investigators,” said Alex Uballez, U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico.

Investigators said Zuni told them she cut the throat of the nine-month-old child first and then cut the five-year-old boy with the same knife. She denied using drugs or alcohol, but told investigators she was unable to feed and provide appropriate medical treatment for her children.

Zuni also reportedly told investigators she thought this was the only way she could protect her sons.

“The complaint details and recounts the statements of another child, as well as another person who was present there, their observations, and their interactions with Zuni,” Uballez said.

During a limited interview with the boys’ sister, she reportedly mentioned she didn’t think her mom was thinking straight because she took the kids out of school and wouldn’t let people visit them.

Uballez could not comment on Zuni’s state of mind or the nature of the alleged crimes.

“Because a charged defendant has a right to be presumed innocent, we in the Department of Justice very seldom comment beyond the words of the complaint, because they are allegations at this point,” Uballez said.

Zuni is in custody in Valencia County. She is scheduled to have a hearing to decide whether she will stay in jail until trial later this week.

KOB 4 confirmed the five-year-old boy went to Isleta Elementary School.

A spokesperson with the Bureau of Indian Education shared the following statement:

The Isleta Elementary School community is heartbroken by this loss. The well-being and safety of our students and staff are of the utmost importance. School leadership will continue to work with community partners to help students and staff as they grieve the loss of their student and classmate. We are thankful for the assistance from our local partners during this difficult time. Counselors have been available at the school since March 22 and will continue to be at the school to provide additional support as needed. The Bureau of Indian Education also has offered on-site crisis support and 24/7 individual support through the BIE Behavioral Health and Wellness Program. Students and staff at schools and programs funded by the Bureau can call 1-844-ASK-BHWP (1-844-275-2497) to be connected with trained professionals who can provide immediate individual attention.