GLENDALE, AZ — A 23-year-old Arizona woman can be seen confessing that she smothered her five-month-old daughter to death with a comforter in footage released by the Glendale Police Department.
Amber Sagarnaga was arrested last June after the baby girl, named Mary, died, according to court records obtained by People. She has been charged with murder and has pleaded not guilty.
In the video, a distraught Sagarnarga can be heard giving police details about the baby girl’s final moments.
Sagarnaga stated that she wanted to take a nap the afternoon of June 9, 2017 — but that Mary “wouldn’t stop crying,” and that she did not know what was wrong with the infant.
So she said that she put a king-sized comforter over Mary’s head and did not remove it. “I don’t know why,” she says in the footage. “I just didn’t take it off of her this time.” When the interrogator asks her if she smothered her baby, Sagarnaga responded, “I got my hand and I put it on her face. I don’t know how long I did it for.”
Sagarnaga told police that she was able to sleep after the incident.
Her fiancé later found Mary unresponsive and called 911. Dispatchers tried to revive the baby, but she was pronounced dead later that evening. Police reportedly said that when they arrived on the scene, Sagarnaga was “lacking emotion.”
Sagarnaga has a history with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, according to an agency representative quoted in The Republic. Sagarnaga’s other children have been taken by the Department of Child Safety.
DCS had last been in contact with the family in December, when the agency received a report of neglect regarding Sagarnaga and use of marijuana while she was pregnant with Mary.
Police allege that the day before Mary died, Sagarnaga struck the child with a bottle, which caused a cut on her lip. Little Mary also seemed to have been kept in the same diaper for more than a day before she died.
In the recorded confession, Sagarnaga admits that she struggles with depression and that she had thought about killing each of the children and herself. “I knew I had all of these problems, and I thought I could just suck it up.”
Her trial is scheduled to begin on February 22.
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Main photo: Amber Sagarnaga [Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]