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December 22, 2014

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Parents charged with murder, neglect in June fire that killed three toddlers

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Conor Shine

Charred hulls of two mobile homes can be seen from Las Vegas Boulevard North, where a morning fire Friday, June 15, 2012, killed three children, all under the age of 3.

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Emergency vehicles, firefighters and police remain on the scene of a fire this morning on Las Vegas Boulevard North that claimed the lives of three children under the age of 3.

A Clark County grand jury has indicted the parents of three children killed in a June fire, charging them with murder and child abuse.

Amy Hatzenpiller, also known as Amy Hatzenfiller, and Shane J. Gouailhardou were charged in the indictment handed up Tuesday in Clark County District Court. Each is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm.

A spokeswoman for Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said warrants for Hatzenpiller and Gouailhardou have been issued. As of midafternoon Wednesday, the two still were at large.

The indictment was unsealed Wednesday and released by Wolfson’s office.

David Gouailhardou, 2, Skylar Lafia, 2, and Aryana Lafia, 1, died in the June 15 fire at the Van’s Trailer Oasis mobile home park, 3610 Las Vegas Boulevard North.

The indictment says Hatzenpiller and Shane Gouailhardou had ingested methamphetamine on the day in question and were “too impaired to care for” the children when the “fire started in and engulfed their home.” The mobile home, the indictment noted, did not have fire extinguishers, smoke detectors or other fire-supression devices, and had limited means of escape.

Hatzenpiller and Shane Gouailhardou moved their family into the mobile home less than a week before the fire.

A witness that day told the Sun that when he arrived at the mobile home the day of the fire, he noticed the children were still inside. The front entrance was already too hot to go near, so he sprinted toward the back window. There, he said, he tried to reach in to help them.

“I heard the boy or girl whimper and cry, ‘Help,’” neighbor Robert Hicks said. “But I couldn’t grab them.”

Russell Cameron, a deputy fire chief with the Clark County Fire Department, told the Sun the parents also had attempted to rescue the children.

Among those testifying before the grand jury were two Metro Police officers, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a Child Protective Services investigator and an official with the Department of Family Services.

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