Arrests Made In Case Of Toddler Found Dead In Car

Sacramento Sheriff’s Child Abuse Bureau detectives said on Thursday that arrested Angela Phakhin, 27, and Untwan Smith, 46, of Arkansas for child endangerment charges which may have led to the death of a 3-year-old girl in Rancho Cordova on Wednesday.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on June 28, 2017, a Rancho Cordova Police Department police officer located a white Toyota Rav-4 parked the wrong way on Rod Beaudry Drive in Rancho Cordova. The officer noticed a man and a woman near the car.  According to Sacramento Sheriff's spokesman Sgt Tony Turnbull, they were later identified as Phakhin and Smith.

Turnbull said officer talked with Phakhin and Smith, and after further investigation determined they were the registered owners of the car. A records check also revealed that Smith had an outstanding warrant in the state of Arkansas. Once officers searched the car, according to Turnbull, they found the unresponsive toddler underneath some blankets in the back seat. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no obvious signs of trauma.

Untwan Smith and Angela Phakhin booking photos courtesy Sac Sheriff's Dept.

The Sheriff’s Child Abuse Bureau was called in and the Sacramento County Coroner took the child's body for an autopsy. The exact cause of death of the child is unknown at this time.

Detectives said Phakhin is the biological mother of the victim. Smith is the boyfriend of Phakhin. The couple is believed to have come to California in February of this year, and had been living out of their vehicle with the child in various parts of the city and county.

The case will be submitted to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and charges may be filed in relation to the child's death once the Coroner’s Office determines the cause and manner.

For now, Phakhin and Smith are facing child endangerment and conspiracy charges, and were booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. They are being held in lieu of $1,000,000 bail, and are scheduled to be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday.

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