Indiana mother arrested in deaths of her 4 children; could face charges by Wednesday

Thursday, November 16th 2006, 9:19 pm
By: News On 6

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- The mother of four young children found dead in their home was arrested Thursday in connection with their deaths, police said.

Angelica Alvarez, who was found unconscious next to the bodies of her two daughters and two sons in the basement of their home Tuesday, was placed under arrest in the hospital where she has been in critical condition. Prosecutors have until Wednesday to decide whether to charge her, authorities said.

An autopsy found the children, ages 2 to 8, died of asphyxia, and police have ruled the deaths were homicides.

Alvarez, 27, was in custody at Elkhart General Hospital, police Capt. Steven Mock said. He did not give details on her injuries but said she was expected to live.

Mock did not say what led police to believe Alvarez may have been involved in her children's deaths.

"Details, including physical evidence, leading to this probable cause arrest will not be answered," Mock said.

A magistrate was expected to review the case Friday to determine whether police had probable cause to keep Alvarez in custody, said Bill Wargo, chief investigator for the Elkhart County prosecutor's office.

The bodies were found by Alvarez's husband, Fernando Valdez, who ran into the street and yelled for someone to call police, authorities said. Police initially thought Alvarez was also dead but later discovered she had a faint pulse.

Records of calls made to police from the home show custody disputes between Alvarez and Gonzalo Lopez, her ex-husband and the father of the two oldest children, police said.