A Clay County woman whose two young children died after being found unresponsive on July Fourth has been charged with assaulting her husband in the hours before the children were found, according to police records.
Jenna Boedecker-Ribando was charged Thursday with third-degree assault, armed criminal action and first-degree property damage, all felonies, after an argument with her husband about alleged infidelity.
Court documents said she threw a brick through the window of an F-150 being driven by her husband. Then she drove a Jeep into the truck as her husband tried to leave the house.
Investigators said Boedecker-Ribando found her 2-year-old and newborn daughters unresponsive Wednesday outside a home in a rural area east of Kearney. Paramedics tried to revive them, but the children were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police haven't said how the girls died but said investigators determined the deaths weren't caused by water, road or firearms-related causes.
According to a GoFundMe account set up to cover funeral expenses, the two girls have been identified as Ireland and Goodknight Ribando
A memorial account has been established for donations at any CommunityAmerica Credit Union. The account name is "FBO GOODKNIGHT AND IRELAND MEMORIAL."
"We are going to treat this investigation with the utmost priority to try to get those answers, not only for everyone who is watching right now but also for the family. They need closure as well,” Clay County sheriff's Capt. Will Akin said.
Investigators initially said foul play wasn't suspected. But on Thursday, the Clay County sheriff said a squad of criminal investigators was asked to help with the case. No charges have been filed in the girls' deaths.
When authorities contacted Boedecker-Ribando's husband about the girls' deaths, he said he and his wife argued late Tuesday about him cheating on her, according to court records, which identify the husband only as "J.A.R."
He told investigators that as he began to leave, Boedecker-Ribando threw a brick toward his vehicle and then rammed it with a Jeep Patriot, according to the court records. The husband was staying with his mother in nearby Kearney when police informed him of the girls' deaths.
When asked if Boedecker-Ribando was a suspect in her daughters' deaths, Clay County Deputy Jon Bazzano said: "The only thing I'm comfortable saying is she's charged with assault. And it's too early for me to put labels on something when we're trying to determine exactly what happened."
Bazzano said the probe remains a death investigation. The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office said it could not release any information because the investigation was ongoing.
Boedecker remains in jail on $75,000s bond and she has been ordered not to have any contact with her husband. Her next court date is Monday.
Both neighbors and investigators say the incident is a tragic situation.
“I can only imagine what it is like for any parent to lose two children, let alone one, is nothing more than tragic," Akin said.
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