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Mom accused of killing kids had them taken away before

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services said it is working with Arizona authorities but would not give further details.

PHOENIX — Rachel Henry, the woman who is accused of murdering her three young children, previously had them taken away by child services.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors said they discovered Henry had children taken away by state officials, but it was not in Arizona. 

Henry moved to Arizona from Oklahoma in June, they said. 

Six months later, prosecutors said she smothered Zane Henry, 3, Miraya Henry, 1, and Catalaya Rios, 7 months, in a home near 24th Street and Southern Avenue. 

Credit: Courtesy of family
Credit: Courtesy of family
Credit: Courtesy of family

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed it is working with Arizona authorities but refused to release any details about any prior contacts with Henry or her children, citing state privacy laws.

RELATED: Police: Mom arrested, admits to killing 3 young children in Phoenix

Oklahoma officials would only say the children were not in their custody, and the Department of Human Services would not be investigating. 

A spokesperson would not clarify what "not in custody" meant or if there was an active case. 

The department said it would conduct an internal review of any contacts it had with Henry or her children, but that would stay private as well. 

The Department issued a statement saying: 

"At the time of their deaths, the children of Rachel Henry were not in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. OKDHS has been contacted by Arizona law enforcement and is cooperating fully with their efforts. Since DHS is unable to conduct an investigation into the deaths of these children, Oklahoma state law prohibits the dissemination of any information related to this matter.

"OKDHS is currently reviewing any contacts that occurred with Rachel Henry or her children and conducting an internal assessment. This confidential assessment will review any underlying facts, actions taken, and outcomes to determine whether any further actions are appropriate."

RELATED: What are the next steps in case involving the death of 3 kids?

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