TEMPE, Ariz. — Editor's Note: Details in this story are graphic.
Tempe police are starting to piece together what happened before two kids were found dead in their family's apartment.
Police discovered the bodies of Mia Inoue, 9, and Kai Inoue, 7, on Saturday morning at a unit at The Tides at South Tempe apartment complex near U.S. 60 and Mill Avenue.
Their mother, Yui Inoue, is facing two first-degree murder charges, according to police.
"It's disturbing," said Kevin Hochstatter. "It makes me kind of queasy to go to sleep at night."
Hochstatter shares a wall with the family at the center of this investigation. He didn't know his neighbors very well. He said they hadn't lived next door to him for very long.
"I didn’t even know they had children. They were so quiet. Never heard a peep out of them," he said.
So when he heard noises early Saturday morning, it struck a nerve.
"I heard the pounding, for like eight consecutive minutes," Hochstatter said. "Then a five-minute break. Then more pounding, but only softer."
He told police what he heard and neighbors living below the family confirmed hearing the same noises.
"Just thinking about what they went through, we can’t put into words right now," said Sgt. Steven Carbajal, who responded to the scene Saturday.
Police discovered the kids' bodies around 8 a.m. after Yui Inoue flagged officers down and told them she heard voices telling her to kill her kids, the department said.
"It makes me feel sick to my stomach, to be honest," neighbor Asia Henderson said. "It’s just like ... as a child you trust your mother."
Yui Inoue told police she had an argument with her husband hours before. Tempe police confirmed that her husband called for help around 12:30 a.m. after his wife threatened to stab him.
After that call, police said the husband left the apartment, leaving Yui Inoue with their two kids. She told police she went to bed with her kids and woke up to see blood, but told police she didn’t remember hurting them.
Police said detectives believe a meat cleaver was used in the incident and the children had defensive wounds.
Kyrene School District confirmed Mia and Kai were students at Kyrene Del Cielo Elementary school, but it’s not clear how long the family has been in the area.
Yui Inoue is being held in the Maricopa County Jail under a $2 million bond.
She’s due in court later this week.
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