Year in Review 2016: Fort Wayne children found dead in Elkhart, mother admits to their murder
It was one of the most heart wrenching cases Michiana saw in 2016. A Fort Wayne mother admitted to Elkhart Police, she kidnapped and suffocated her two young children.
We continue to follow this on-going case closely, here's a timeline of what we know so far:
6:21 a.m. Liliana Hernandez, 7, and Rene Pasztor, 6 were reported missing and possibly abducted from their Fort Wayne home at 7036 US33.
12:30 p.m. (approximately) An AMBER Alert is issued for the two children and their non-custodial mother, Amber Pasztor, 29. The alert includes a description of her vehicle, a tan Mercury Mystique. Police were also looking to speak with 66-year-old Frank Macomber.
5:25 p.m. Elkhart Police Corporal Norm Friend is flagged down by the driver of a tan Mercury. She told the officer there were two deceased people in the back seat of her car. The woman was identified as Amber Pasztor and the two people in the back seat were two children, with similar descriptions to the two children in the AMBER Alert. Several other officers responded and confirmed the two children were deceased. Pasztor allegedly told the officers she smothered her children.
6:15 p.m. (approximately) The AMBER Alert is canceled because the children were found. Autopsies for the two children are planned for Tuesday.
11:30 p.m. (approximately) The Elkhart Police Department announces Amber Pasztor has been arrested on two counts of murder.
1:40 a.m. A man's body was found in Fort Wayne, half a mile from the children's home.
3:30 p.m. The body found in the woods has been positively identified as Frank Macomber. His cause of death was gunshot wound and his manner of death was homicide.
3:51 p.m. The Elkhart County Coroner released the autopsy results of the two children whose bodies were found in the car. Liliana Hernandez died from asphyxiation. Rene Pasztor also died of asphyxiation. Both deaths were ruled homicides.
4:15 p.m. Officials held a press conference in Fort Wayne. They released new details including the fact they believe Macomber died before the children were abducted. In addition, the vehicle Pasztor was driving belonged to Macomber. Pasztor provided information that led helped them locate Macomber's body, according to Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill.
2 p.m. (approximately) The probable cause affidavit is released regarding Amber Pasztor's arrest. She told Elkhart Police she smothered her children with her hand.
She told investigators she kicked in the door of her father's home and took both children, according to the probable cause affidavit. She said she traveled to Elkhart with the children, and made several stops along the way including to a restaurant and park, reports said.
Pasztor allegedly told officers she used her hand to smother the children, reports said.
Amber Pasztor was officially charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her children, Liliana and Rene.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill announced he would seek a term of life in prison without parole for Amber Pasztor because of the circumstances of the crime. Under Indiana law, a prosecuting attorney can seek an enhanced sentence of life without parole if the murder victim was less than 12 years old or if there is evidence the accused committed an additional murder.
Pasztor's attorney requested a mental competency evaluation.
Pasztor’s attorney notified the court they would use a defense of mental disease or defect.
Pasztor submitted to the competency evaluation and the results were sealed.
Pasztor is scheduled for a second competency evaluation in Indianapolis.