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California police arrest couple after child found dead


    Rancho Cordova police investigate an SUV owned by a man and a woman detained for questioning, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. >> Police have arrested the mother of a toddler found dead under some blankets in the back of an SUV parked on a Northern California street, officials said today.

Officers arrested 27-year-old Angela Phakhin, 27, and her boyfriend, Untwan Smith, 46, both of Arkansas, on suspicion of child endangerment in the death of the 3-year-old girl in Rancho Cordova on Wednesday. The girl’s name was not released.

The child was found unresponsive Wednesday in the back seat of the SUV by Rancho Cordova police officers and pronounced dead at the scene, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull.

He said the couple were found near the car and were detained for questioning. A records check showed they owned the car and that Smith has an outstanding warrant out of Arkansas.

The child did not have obvious signs of trauma. The coroner’s office will determine a cause of death, said Turnbull said.

The car was parked the wrong way on a street when the child was discovered inside.

Additional charges are possible after the coroner’s investigation.

Detectives believe that Phakhin and Smith arrived in California in February and had been living out of the SUV at various locations in Sacramento County.

Phakhin and Smith were being held on $1 million bail each and are scheduled to be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday. It was not immediately known if either had an attorney.

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