BROWNSVILLE, Texas, March 12 (UPI) -- The parents of three children found decapitated in a filthy Brownsville apartment in South Texas were charged with capital murder Wednesday.
John Allan Rubio, 22, and Angela Camacho, 23, were denied bond in an arraignment before Municipal Judge Reynaldo Garza III. They were each charged with three counts of capital murder, which could carry the death penalty if prosecutors decide to seek it.
Garza talked to the pair in Spanish and English, asking them if they understood the charges and the possible penalties. They said they understood and had no questions.
Police found the bodies of the children in the apartment Tuesday night after a woman flagged a patrol car down on the street. The body of a 1-year-old boy was found on the bed and the bodies of two girls, ages 2 months and 3 years, were in plastic garbage bags.
Rubio and Camacho are not married but they had been living together for at least three years, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
The couple had completed parenting classes last year after being referred to state Child Protective Services because the children were malnourished, a CPS spokesman said. The case was closed in December, and the family was making progress, she said.
"I have been with CPS for 16 years, and I have never seen a case like this," CPS spokeswoman Marina Yzaguirre told the Express-News. "This is one of those horrible, horrible cases that can't be predicted."
Police Chief Carlos Garcia said the children were apparently killed Monday. Investigators were awaiting the results of autopsies scheduled Wednesday.
The apartment is in an old, two-story building that once housed a grocery store.
Garcia said police have not established a motive for the slayings.
Neighbors were shocked by the crime.
"It is frightening to know there are people like that so close to our family and our kids," Amanda Ybarra told the Brownsville Herald. She has a 10-year-old daughter who walks by the apartment complex often.
The apartment building is near the Brownsville Boys & Girls Club, and children are often seen playing outside, Ybarra said.
Garcia said the last triple homicide in Brownsville was in 1998, when three teenagers were shot and killed in a failed robbery attempt.