Christopher Payne - In January of 2002, Payne married Jamie Hallam. They had two children, Tyler, born in 2001 and Ariana, born in 2002. Shortly after Ariana was born, Payne and Jaime divorced and she got sole custody of the children. Jamie had been investigated by CPS for reports of meth use and domestic violence and in 2006, CPS agreed that the children be in Payne's custody. At that time, Payne and his girlfriend Reina Gonzalez had an apartment together, and they were both heroin addicts.
In February of 2007, there was a delinquent storage unit at a Tucson storage facility called U-Store-It, and the manager opened the unit and cleared the contents. There was a large Rubbermaid tub with a foul smell in the unit which the manager decided to throw in the dumpster. When she did, the lid opened and bugs flew out. There was a bag with liquid in it. The manager called police and they subsequently determined that the tub contained the remains of 4-year-old Ariana.
The police investigation led to the arrests of both Payne and his girlfriend Reina. Initially, Reina told police she had no knowledge of the deaths. Reina eventually pled guilty to two counts of second degree murder and her testimony at trial revealed that Tyler and Ariana were severely abused, neglected, beaten, starved, and locked in the closet for long periods of time while she and Payne abused heroin. When Payne found Ariana lifeless one evening, and after failing to resuscitate her, he put Ariana in the closet and he and Reina went to abuse more heroin. In September of 2006, Chris paid a drug acquaintance to rent a storage unit where the remains of Ariana were ultimately found. Tyler's remains were never found. Chris was sentenced to death for the two murders. Reina was sentenced to two consecutive 22 year terms.