The parents of three children killed in a Las Vegas mobile home fire in June were indicted by a grand jury on murder charges Tuesday, the Review-Journal has learned.
Part of the case involves evidence that Amy Hatzenpiller, 26, and Shane Gouailhardou, 22, were high on methamphetamine when the blaze began.
The exact charges against the two are expected to be made public today .
David Gouailhardou, 2, Skylar Lafia, 2, and Aryana Lafia, 1, died June 15 at Van’s Trailer Oasis, 3610 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near Lamb Boulevard.
The cause of their deaths was smoke inhalation, and the manner of their deaths was ruled undetermined, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.
The children were sleeping in their home when the fire started about 10:20 a.m., fire officials said.
Hatzenpiller, the mother of Skylar and Aryana, and Gouailhardou, David’s father, escaped the fire.
Neighbors tried to rescue the children but could not. Neighbors at the time questioned how the parents could leave their children behind.
By the time firefighters had the blaze under control, the children were dead, and two mobile homes were destroyed.
Attempts to locate Hatzenpiller and Gouailhardou on Tuesday at their last known addresses were unsuccessful. The burned mobile homes at Van’s Trailer Oasis have been replaced.
The blaze was investigated by agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Clark County fire investigators. Las Vegas police also investigated the case.
A week after the fire, a police spokesman said investigators initially planned on sending the case file to county prosecutors for review but were not recommending charges.
It’s unknown what new evidence emerged since then to cause prosecutors to take the case to a grand jury, a legal process closed to the public.
Transcripts of the grand jury investigation will be made public in the coming weeks after the release of the indictment.
A judge is expected today to issue an arrest warrant for Hatzenpiller and Gouailhardou or order their appearance at an arraignment hearing based on the indictment.
Gouailhardou, who has a history of minor drug arrests, was charged in August with possession of methamphetamine and has a case pending in North Las Vegas Justice Court, records show.
Also, the Clark County Department of Family Services had a lengthy history of contact with Hatzenpiller before the fire, records show.
In April, child welfare workers investigated an abuse allegation involving Hatzenpiller’s children. They ruled the case unsubstantiated because the alleged perpetrator did not care for or have custody of the children, according to the report. The case was closed May 7.
Hatzenpiller faced four neglect allegations in 2005 and 2006 involving another child. Three were investigated and deemed unsubstantiated by child welfare workers. The fourth allegation came from out of state, and county investigators closed the case because they could not find the family.
In June 2011, child protective services received an abuse allegation involving David. But the information in the allegation was not enough to start an investigation, and the case was closed as “information only,” according to the report.
Gouailhardou also had contact with the agency in 2006 as a 16-year-old victim of neglect. The allegation was substantiated, and the teen was made a ward of the county until his family completed its case plan in 2009.