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Mother charged with child abuse, child remains found

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) A Tucson mother charged with two counts of child abuse admitted to carrying drugs during a traffic stop a week prior to the discovery of her two children home alone.

Tucson Police were first called to the 5700 block of South Monrovia Avenue near Drexel Road and Campbell Avenue on Thursday, March 23. A neighbor reported a four-year-old girl wandering alone and called 911.

According to an interim police complaint obtained by KGUN 9, Tucson Police arrived at the home where the girl lived and saw a nine-month-old baby sleeping in a bassinet. The children’s mother, 24-year-old Katie Luna Hernandez, arrived an hour later.

Tucson police charged her with two counts of child abuse. Arizona Department of Child Safety took custody of the children.

Tucson Police came back to the house on Monrovia with a search warrant when it was determined Hernandez had a third child. On March 24, police found the body of a two-year-old boy. An autopsy and toxicology report are pending.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover confirmed Hernandez is currently in custody.

Ms. Hernandez is in custody on preliminary charges, but further investigation is underway. Thus, pursuant to the rules we will not comment further at this time, Conover said.

Prior to the home search, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, Tucson Police pulled Hernandez over for a traffic stop. According to an interim police complaint filed obtained by KGUN 9, Hernandez admitted she had a gun in the car when asked if there were weapons. Police found the serial number defaced on an FNX .45-caliber handgun.

The report says Hernandez also admitted she had narcotics. A police NIK Test U Kit found the baggies positive for methamphetamine and heroin. They also found a hollow pen that had a burnt end.

Currently, Hernandez is jailed on two counts of child abuse with no bond set.