Chandler baby killer takes her life day before jail - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler baby killer takes her life day before jail

January 6th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Chandler baby killer takes her life day before jail


A Chandler woman who pleaded guilty to drowning her month-old son died by suicide last month, the day before she was scheduled to be sentenced for her guilty plea to murder.
Jenna Folwell, 21, apparently took her life Dec. 13. Police found her body on a Tempe street. Investigators believe she jumped from a nearby building and found no evidence of foul play, Tempe Police Det. Greg Bacon said.
Court records show Folwell had been scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14 for her plea to second-degree murder of her son, Rainer, who was found dead in the mother’s Chandler apartment two years ago.
The baby had been drowned in a bathtub and his wet body was stuffed into a duffle bag.
Folwell, who had been free on bond, pleaded guilty in November and agreed to serve at least 14 years in prison.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office notified Judge Pamela Gates of Folwell’s death on Dec. 14, the same day she was expected to be sent to prison to begin her sentence.
Folwell had bonded out of jail shortly after her arrest in October 2018.
Chandler Police arrested her after discovering evidence on Folwell’s cell phone that indicated she had planned to kill Rainer.
Folwell made more than 100 searches for information on why parents kill children, missing baby cases and how long it takes for babies to drown.
Folwell initially told authorities her son had been kidnapped from a nearby park. Her story was quickly contradicted by the discovery of Rainer’s body in the mother’s apartment.
She later confessed to drowning Rainer in the bathtub and never told Chandler Police her motive for wanting to kill her son.
Folwell’s arrest attracted national media attention and sparked a public outcry over why nobody around her had spotted any warning signs of a mental illness.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety had not received any reports of child abuse or neglect involving Folwell before Rainer’s death.
Eric Canku, the baby’s father, previously said he wished Folwell would have let him take custody of their son before she decided to drown Rainer. The father felt Folwell’s actions should result in her getting the maximum possible prison sentence.
“I want her to have a life without parole,” Canku said during one of Folwell’s court appearances. “She can live every day knowing what she did to that poor innocent child. The pain she has caused me has no definition.”
Canku’s family said they have mixed emotions about Folwell’s recent death. They had wanted her to be held accountable for her crimes, yet they hadn’t expected Folwell to pay with her life.
“This was definitely not something we would have ever wished for her,” Canku’s family wrote in a statement. “Eric did not want the death penalty and wanted her to serve her time.”
Because Folwell died before her case could be fully adjudicated, prosecutors have asked Gates to dismiss her criminal charges “without prejudice,” a legal term that leaves the door open for the state to refile charges against the same defendant.
Folwell’s attorneys objected to the prosecution’s request, asking the judge to dismiss the case “with prejudice” because it is impossible for Folwell to be charged again.
“The finality of her case is evident,” Folwell’s attorney stated. “Justice requires that the dismissal be with prejudice.”
Gates has not issued a ruling.