KANSAS CITY, Kan. — UPDATE, Dec. 31 | Kansas City, Kansas Police said Tuesday they believe the incident originated from a previous dating relationship. The Wyandotte County District Attorney's office is reviewing the case.
UPDATE: Kansas City, Kansas Police announced the arrest of a person in connection with Monday morning's triple homicide.
A suspect has been taken into custody regarding the triple homicide near South Mill and Ridge early this morning. Charges are pending review by the Wyandotte County District Attorneys Office.— KCKPD (@KCKPDChief) December 31, 2019
Police did not identify the suspect, nor what charges that person might face.
ORIGINAL: Hours after a mother and her two children were found dead in a fire that officials are calling a homicide scene, family and neighbors are left wondering why.
Yazmin Rodriguez, early 30s, Amerikha Rodriguez, 14 and Jeancarlos Rodriguez, 10, were found dead Monday morning as part of a fire investigation near Mill Street and Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. KCK police said Monday night that one person was in custody in relation to the deaths and charges were pending.
Around 4:30 a.m., firefighters driving through the neighborhood smelled smoke, according KCKFD.
They saw it coming from the attic of 29 North Mill street near Central Avenue.
Crews quickly got the fire under control. But once inside the home, firefighters discovered the three victims.
Ana Rodriguez, the sister-in-law to Yazmin and an aunt to the two children, told 41 Action News on Monday that she’s hoping for justice.
“Last time I saw them was from their birthday in November,” Ana Rodriguez said.
Ana Rodriguez said Yazmin worked hard for her children.
“She was a single mother,” Ana Rodriguez said. “She was working so hard to keep them, and they were always together with my nephew and niece.”
Ana felt something wasn't right Sunday night when she called her sister-in-law.
"And yesterday I tried calling her phone," Ana Rodriguez said, "and I didn't get no answer from her. So I can take them their Christmas gifts. And it was just no, no answer at all from them."
Neighbor Nichole Varela said she would see the family having fun during family get-togethers.
“It’s really sad because when children are involved, it’s pretty upsetting," Varela said, "and it seems like it’d be a pretty horrible start to the new year."
Word of the tragic spread quick among neighbors on the block, which experienced a drive-by shooting about a month ago.
"It breaks my heart," Deborah Lopez, another neighbor, said. "They're so young and they haven't even got to start their life."
Central Middle School Principal Fred Skretta tweeted Monday night that Amerikha was a student at CMS.
We lost a great person in the death of Amerikha Rodriguez, only 14 years old/8th grade, along with her younger brother and mom. Please pray for family, friends, students and staff as we mourn. I just sent a letter to families and will post it here shortly. https://t.co/M88fK7fc5E— Dr. Fred Skretta (@PrincBearcub) December 31, 2019
The victims’ family want the killer caught soon.
"I want justice and if anybody saw anything – anybody go inside the house, speak up. Let anybody know," Ana Rodriguez said.
The children's father is currently is Mexico. Relatives are working to get him a visa to attend his children's funeral and burial.
Investigators still are piecing together details of the crime scene and are asking anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.