Missouri mother charged with murder, accused of leaving 2 girls in hot vehicle July 4

A 30-year-old mother is facing murder charges after her two daughters were found dead last summer, allegedly from being left inside a hot vehicle in rural Clay County.

A Clay County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Jenna M. Boedecker on charges that her 2-year-old daughter Ireland Ribando and newborn Goodknight Ribando died from excessive heat because of criminally inadequate care after being left in the vehicle for hours on July 4.

Boedecker faces charges of second-degree murder for each of the children’s deaths, as well as multiple counts of first-degree child endangerment, domestic assault, armed criminal action and property damage.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office initially didn’t suspect foul play but later turned the case over to its investigative squad.

According to authorities, Boedecker told police she and her children slept in the vehicle after she lost the key to her home the 15600 block of Cameron Road in Clay County.

When she woke up the next morning, Boedecker told police, her daughters were unresponsive and not breathing.

She ran to a neighbor’s house and the neighbor called 911.

The neighbor helped Boedecker attempt to cool the lifeless children with water, wet rags and fans.

Paramedics from the Kearney Fire Protection District rushed to the scene, where they later pronounced the girls dead.

Hours before the girls were found dead, a social worker from the Missouri Children’s Division in Clay County went to the family’s home in response to a hotline call about the children’s welfare. The social worker told police he walked by the vehicle but did not notice the children inside.

Before Tuesday’s murder indictment, Boedecker was charged in Clay County Circuit Court with third-degree domestic assault, armed criminal action and first-degree property damage for allegedly assaulting her husband the night before the children were found dead.

Prosecutors said the charges stemmed from an argument between Boedecker and her husband about his fidelity.

The grand jury indictment on Tuesday supersedes those previous criminal charges.

Boedecker remained in custody Tuesday with bond set at $500,000