Sheriff Paul Babeu announced today the arrest of three women in connection with the Nov. 19 death of 3-year-old Tiana Rosalie Capps.
The arrests occurred on Dec. 24 after a month-long investigation into the child’s death from blunt force trauma while in the care of Shawn Main, a 45-year-old Maricopa resident. She was charged with murder and child abuse.
Also arrested were the child’s biological mother, Tina Morse, 27, and Maria C. Tiglao, 46. Both were charged with five counts of child abuse against the four children in their care.
“The investigation has shown that the biological mother and two other women who were supposed to be caring for these four children, failed miserably in their responsibility to protect these children from harm,” Babeu said. “We discovered that all of the children suffered from abuse, the worst case resulting in the death of 3-year-old Tiana.”
As reported earlier, PCSO received a 911 call from a caretaker reporting a child in medical distress and notifying officers she was driving the child to the hospital. That caretaker is now identified as Main.
Deputies and paramedics met Main’s vehicle near Amarillo Valley Road and Century Road, where she had pulled to the side of the road at the dispatcher’s request to start CPR on the child. Deputies found the child in full code and began emergency life-saving measures.
The child was transported by ground to a local emergency room where continued life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. The child died in the emergency room. Doctors trying to save the child noted she had unexplained injuries to her head and body.
The child lived with her natural mother and two other adult females at a home on North Ralston Road in unincorporated Maricopa. Deputies who showed up at the residence for the initial investigation reported the residence was filthy, with animal feces and belongings stacked throughout the house, typical of a hoarders’ residence.
They discovered three male children lived at the home as well, all biological children of Tina Morse. They were 5-years-old, 4-years-old and 5-months-old.
As a result of the deputies’ observations, they requested the surviving children be removed from the home by the Department of Child Safety.
Tiana’s autopsy was done by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office and showed she died of repeated blunt force trauma.
“When our detectives interviewed the women living in the home, they established that Shawn Main was responsible for caring for the three oldest children and Maria Tiglao cared for the infant,” Babeu said. “The biological mother, Tina Morse, admitted to providing no care for her children. Shawn admitted that Tiana was under her care at the time of her fatal injuries. Although Shawn claimed the child’s injuries were self-inflicted, the medical examiner’s report did not support the claims.”
According to the report, the five-year-old male was found to have injuries to his head and malnourished. The other children were found to be malnourished. All the surviving children remain in the custody of the Department of Child Safety.
The three suspects remain in custody at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center.