Couple pleads not guilty to concealing skeletal remains

Couple pleads not guilty to concealing skeletal remains

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PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix couple has pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse and concealing skeletal remains at their home two years after their daughter was last seen alive.

Rafael Loera and Maribel Loera each made not guilty pleas at brief arraignment hearings Thursday.

Rafael Loera previously told police that their 11-year-old daughter Ana became ill in July 2017 and that he waited several days before trying to seek medical attention.

Police also say Rafael Loera told them the child died on the way to the hospital and that the death wasn’t reported out of fear that their other adopted children would be taken away by the state.

The couple hasn't been charged in the death of Ana, though prosecutors will decide whether to file additional charges once the child’s cause of death has been determined.

The couple remains jailed.

The remains were discovered on Jan. 28 after neighbors reported a fire at the west Phoenix home.

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