Calif. Police Arrest Couple After Child Found Dead in Car

June 30, 2017 Updated: June 30, 2017

Police in Northern California have arrested a couple after a child was found dead inside the back of an SUV.

A sheriff’s deputy noticed the car parked the wrong direction, prompting the search that eventually located the child’s body.

Angela Phakhin, 27, and her boyfriend, Untwan Smith, 46, were arrested on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy in the death of the 3-year-old child, The Associated Press reported. The name of the young girl wasn’t released.

Police in Rancho Cordova found the girl under blankets in the back of the SUV before she was pronounced dead at the scene, Sacramento County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said.

The couple were found near the car and were detained for questioning.

The child didn’t display any outward signs of trauma. “There were no obvious signs of trauma, so they’re still in the beginning stages of this death investigation,” said Turnbull, CBS News reported.

Angela Phakhin and Untwan Smith were arrested on child endangerment and conspiracy charges. (SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)
Angela Phakhin and Untwan Smith were arrested on child endangerment and conspiracy charges. (SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

Phakhin, the child’s mother, and Smith are being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

“It’s just tragic, I mean, definitely a tragedy and we need to find out how this happened and prevent it,” neighbor Scott Ecklund told CBS.

Investigators say the couple arrived in California in February and were living out of their car.