Mother 'poisoned daughters and stabbed ex-husband' on Christmas Day

35-year-old Connie Villa has been charged with first-degree murder

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The Independent US

A 35-year-old woman in the US has been charged with killing her teenage daughter, trying to poison her three other children, and stabbing her ex-husband on Christmas Day.

Connie Villa was arrested on Sunday in the small Arizonan town of Casa Grande. Police say she forced her children to swallow prescription narcotics.

They found her 13-year-old daughter, Aniarel Macias, dead in a bathroom of her family's flat in late December.

Ms Villa is also suspected to have asked Mr Villa to come to the house so she could attack him.

Tests on her surviving 3, 5, and 8-year-old children revealed traces of opiates in their systems. It is believed she had also poisoned Aniarel, but an autopsy is yet to be carried out.

Ms Villa also had stab wounds, which are believed to have been self-inflicted.

It is alleged she carried out the crimes so her husband would not have custody of their children. Her other children are said to be well and are currently being cared for by relatives. She has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder.

Aniarel's family issued the following statement: "On behalf of Michael Macias, Ania’s father, Vera Macias, Ania’s grandmother and extended family, we request that the focus of this tragedy be a celebration of our precious Ania’s life. 

"She was a gentle, kind and beautiful spirit who was taken from us much too soon."