The mother of two young children found stabbed to death in an apartment Monday in Brockton, Massachusetts, has been charged with their murders.
Latarsha Sanders, 44, is in police custody and scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at Brockton District Court. She has been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her 5-year-old and 8-year-old sons.
"Mrs. Sanders made statements that could be construed as admissions to this crime to the investigators," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.
Police are saying that Sanders acted alone and that there is no risk to the general public. The names of the victims are being withheld from the public.
A Brockton city councilor said the mayor's office sent out a robocall saying two children were found stabbed to death on Prospect Street, information first reported by the Brockton Enterprise.
"The woman on the third floor was sitting on the back steps on the lower level, and at the same time, a man on the second floor came home," said neighbor Vin Lalli. "He walked over to her and she says, 'Call an ambulance.'"
Cruz said police were initially called to the building for a well-being check, and when they arrived, they found the two children dead in a third floor apartment. Sanders was taken away in an ambulance.
According to Cruz, the victims had suffered multiple stab wounds. Cruz declined to specify the number or locations of the victims' stab wounds, saying that he would wait for an autopsy report.
A neighbor told NBC10 Boston four children lived in the apartment. Cruz later confirmed that Sanders has other children, but that any other children that were in the building are safe.
According to Cruz, Brockton police believe that the children had been deceased in the apartment for at least 48 hours before they were discovered by police. Cruz said that at some point, Sanders left the apartment, at which point a neighbor called police for a well-being check.
"When something as tragic as this occurs, we're left wondering," said Cruz. "These were innocent children. This was a gruesome, disturbing and, most of all, heartbreaking crime."
Cruz did not say if any weapons were found in the apartment. Brockton police are currently waiting for a search warrant in order to perform a more complete sweep of the property.
"We're trying to put this together as best we can," he said. "There's a lot of moving pieces right now."
"We don't have any reason to believe that right at this moment, anyone else is at risk," Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter added. "We're all very upset right now, but we're trying to do the best we can to assist the investigators."
"The Department of Children and Families has received a report on this tragic situation and we are coordinating our investigation with law enforcement," spokesperson Andrea Grossman said in a statement Monday night.
Cruz said anyone who observed anything suspicious in the area should call police.
"This is an ongoing investigation right now," he said. "A terrible thing happened in this apartment, and we need to make sure we get to the bottom of it as best we can and as quickly as we can."
Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed a large police presence at the scene. Investigators could be seen examining a dark-colored sedan behind the three-story, multi-unit building, which had been cordoned off by police tape.