Two Indiana children were found dead in a car hours after an Amber Alert was issued for them – and their mother has been charged with murder, police say.
Liliana Hernandez, 7, and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor, of Fort Wayne, were found dead in a car behind the Elkhart Police Department on Monday after their estranged mother, Amber Pasztor, allegedly abducted the pair, prompting an Amber Alert, The Elkhart Truth reports.
“[Pasztor] actually approached the officer and stopped and made contact with him,” Elkhart Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Snyder said at a press conference. “When [the officer] made contact with that female, she advised him that there were two deceased people in the back seat of her car.”
Officials issued the alert just after 12:30 p.m. on Monday, noting that the children were last seen at around 6:21 a.m. and were “believed to be in extreme danger.”
Authorities said in the alert that the children were likely taken by their “non-custodial mother Amber Pasztor.”
Pasztor was arrested and charged with two counts of murder, the Associated Press reports. Snyder said authorities are looking for 65-year-old Frank Macomber who allegedly “may have some information to assist with this investigation.”
Snyder said that police are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of the children. He did not reveal how the children died, but autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday morning in Kalamazoo, Michigan, according to the AP.
“Anytime you have kids involved it makes it a little bit harder,” Snyder said.
He said it was emotionally difficult for officers responding to the scene.
“A lot of it, for the officers, is the way that our portion of this transpired,” he said. “Not knowing a lot other than the mere fact there’s a car parked behind our police station and there’s two deceased young kids in there.”
Pasztor is being held in Elkhart County Jail, the AP reports. No information was immediately available on whether she has entered a plea or retained an attorney.