The Arkansas couple arrested along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova when police discovered the body of the woman's 3-year-old daughter in their sport utility vehicle were formally arraigned on murder charges Friday in the girl's death. Randall Benton The Sacramento Bee
The Arkansas couple arrested along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova when police discovered the body of the woman's 3-year-old daughter in their sport utility vehicle were formally arraigned on murder charges Friday in the girl's death. Randall Benton The Sacramento Bee

Sacto 911

Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Local

Toddler’s body was found under a blanket. Now her mother faces murder charge

By Darrell Smith

dvsmith@sacbee.com

June 30, 2017 04:49 PM

UPDATED July 02, 2017 09:23 AM

The Arkansas couple arrested along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova when police discovered the body of the woman’s 3-year-old daughter in their sport-utility vehicle were formally arraigned on murder charges Friday in the girl’s death.

Untwan Smith, 46, and Angela Phakhin, 27, were arraigned in separate appearances Friday. The body of Phakhin’s young daughter was found under blankets in the back of their SUV near the entrance to River Bend Park. No obvious signs of trauma were found on the girl’s body, said Sacramento County sheriff’s officials following the couple’s arrest.

Rancho Cordova officers noticed the couple’s vehicle parked the wrong way on Rod Beaudry Drive on Wednesday afternoon and found the pair outside. A records check revealed that Smith had an outstanding warrant out of Arkansas. Authorities said the two had lived in the car since their February arrival in California.

Phakhin and Smith are each being held in lieu of $ 1 million bail at Sacramento County Main Jail. The pair will return July 10 to Sacramento Superior Court.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith