Pair arrested after girl found dead in SUV in Rancho Cordova

Pair arrested after girl found dead in SUV in Rancho Cordova

A toddler was found dead Wednesday afternoon in the back of an SUV near a popular Rancho Cordova park, officers said. The officer spoke to Smith and Phakhin near the vehicle and determined they were owners of the auto.

Rancho Cordova police searched the SUV and found the toddler under a pile of blankets.

Angela Phakhin, age 27, and Untwan Smith, age 46, were arrested Wednesday on child endangerment and conspiracy charges, sheriff's officials said. The child was unresponsive and declared deceased at the scene.

Detectives with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office's Child Abuse Bureau and the county coroner then began an investigation into the child's death. Tony Turnbull, Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman.

It was not immediately known when and how the child died; a cause would be determined after an autopsy is completed.

Authorities stated they believe the couple arrived in California in February 2017. For someone to be accused of child endangerment in the state of California, they must have caused or permitted a child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering; willfully caused or permitted a child in their care to be injured or willfully caused or permitted a child to be placed in a risky situation.

The man and woman were detained and are being questioned by detectives.

Angela Phakhin, 27, and Untwan Smith, 46, arrested for child endangerment and conspiracy.

After the arrests, both were booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail, where they are each being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to the statement.

Phakhin is the biological mother of the toddler, and Smith is Phakhin's boyfriend.