An Indiana mother arrested after her two children were found dead in the back seat of a car hours after an Amber Alert was issued for them, told police she had “smothered them,” according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Amber Pasztor, 29, of Fort Wayne, was arrested Monday on suspicion of two counts of murder and is being held in Elkhart County Jail.
According to an affidavit, Pasztor flagged down an officer behind the Elkhart Police Department while driving a vehicle matching the description of one in a statewide Amber Alert issued earlier that day.
“Pasztor told Corporal Norm Friend that her children were dead and located in the back seat of the vehicle in question,” the affidavit read.
Another officer called to the scene, Lieutenant Doug Ryback, confirmed both children were dead and asked Pasztor what happened.
“Amber replied that she had ‘smothered them,’” the affidavit states.
According to the documents, Pasztor detailed in a later interview that she kicked in the door of her father’s home and took both children out of the home in Fort Wayne earlier in the day. She then traveled to Elkhart with both children, stopping at several places including a restaurant and park, and “at some point covered both of their faces and nose with her hands until they both died.”
Preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted Tuesday found that 7-year-old Liliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor both died of asphyxiation and the manner of death was ruled a homicide for both.
Prosecutors said Tuesday they believed the children’s death may be related to a third homicide, after a man’s body was found in a rural wooded area.
Karen Richards, of the Allen County Prosecutor's Office and Curtis Hill, of the Elkhart Prosecutor's Office, said during a press conference that an investigation was ongoing but the body of Frank Macomber, 66, was found in a wooded area of Allen County. Macomber died from a gunshot wound, Richards said.
Richards said there was “some type of relationship” between the children’s mother, 29-year-old Amber Pasztor, and Macomber.
“His death probably occurred before these two children were abducted by their mother,” she said.
Asked if Pasztor gave information leading to the location of Macomber’s body, Hill said “she gave information that was helpful to the investigation, I’ll leave it at that.” He also said she had been “somewhat cooperative.”
“It’s a senseless tragedy, there’s no such thing as a good reason to kill, but my gosh, when it becomes children,” prosecutor Curtis Hill said. “The Elkhart police officer who was flagged down was traumatized when he looked into that vehicle.”
A magistrate judge found the affidavit establishes probable cause to charge Pasztor with the children's murders. Prosecutors said they expect formal charges will be filed.