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Deceased girls identified, mother arrested on unrelated felony charges (Video)

July 6, 2018 – The two little girls found dead in rural Clay County near Kearney have been identified. Ireland Autumn J. Ribando, aged 2, and Goodknight Berretta J. Ribando, aged 7 weeks, were found unresponsive outside of their home over the fourth of July. Their mother Jenna Boedecker was arrested on unrelated charges just 12 hours later, stemming from an alleged assault against her husband.

According to The Kansas City Star:

Jenna M. Boedecker was charged Thursday with third-degree domestic assault, armed criminal action and first-degree property damage. All are felonies. The charges stem from an argument with her husband about his fidelity, according to police records.

When the husband tried to leave, Jenna threw a brick at his truck, and then rammed it with her own vehicle. He then left the property and stayed with his mother in Kearney, until he was contacted about the death of the two little girls.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Department released the following statement:

We are continuing to investigate leads and process evidence from the scene where two innocent children were found deceased on July 4th in rural Clay County. Detectives have been working closely with the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office and are requesting assistance from the Clay County Investigative Squad with following up on and collecting information in this case. The Clay County Investigative Squad is comprised of experienced criminal investigators from area law enforcement agencies.

The death investigation case remains active, and no additional information will be available at this time.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the children who were lost yesterday.

Although the Sheriff’s Department initially stated there was no initial suspicion of foul play, they later announced they had called for the assistance of the Clay County Investigative Squad, a team of experience criminal investigators from different local agencies.

According to The Star, when Clay County Deputy Jon Bazzano was asked if Jenna Boedecker was considered a suspect in her daughters’ deaths, Bazzano said, “The only thing I’m comfortable saying is she’s charged with assault. And it’s too early for me to put labels on something when we’re trying to determine exactly what happened.”

Bazzano added the probe remains a death investigation.

Officials said on Wednesday that police had ruled out water- and road-related causes of death. No firearms were involved.

Crime scene technicians from the Kansas City Police Department helped to collect evidence. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform autopsies. A fundraiser has been put together for the girls’ funeral expenses, and can be found here.

By Samantha Kilgore •

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