A woman and her boyfriend were arrested on child endangerment charges in connection to the death of the woman’s 3-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the back seat of a sport-utility vehicle by police.
Angela Phakhin, 27, and Untwan Smith, 46, both of Arkansas, were booked into Sacramento County on charges related to the little girl’s death. Phakhin and Smith are each being held on $1 million bail and are scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
A Rancho Cordova Police Department motorcycle officer spotted the couple’s small SUV on Wednesday afternoon parked the wrong way on Rod Beaudry Drive, which leads from Folsom Boulevard to River Bend Park and the American River.
Phakhin and Smith were near the SUV, and a records check revealed that Smith had an outstanding warrant from Arkansas. When officers searched the SUV, they discovered the child’s body under some blankets in the back seat.
There were no obvious signs of trauma to the child’s body, according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull. Detectives from the sheriff’s child abuse bureau and county coroner’s deputies were called to the scene.
The coroner will determine the cause of the girl’s death. Additional charges are possible after the coroner’s investigation.
Detectives believe that Phakhin and Smith arrived in California in February and have been living out of the SUV at various locations in Sacramento County.