Authorities questioned Pasztor when her fiancé, Rene Hernandez, was found dead

By Harriet Sokmensuer
September 28, 2016 06:05 PM
Elkhart County Sheriff Department

The man named in an AMBER Alert along with the Indiana mother now accused of murdering her two young children was fatally shot himself, PEOPLE confirms.

Frank Macomber, 65, was found dead of a gunshot wound Monday afternoon in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Allen County officials tell PEOPLE.

Hours before, AMBER Pasztor of Fort Wayne was charged with the murder of her two children, of whom she had lost custody: Liliana Hernandez, 7, and Rene Pasztor, 6.

The two children died of asphyxiation, Elkhart County Coroner James Elliot tells PEOPLE. In a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Pasztor allegedly confessed to authorities that she suffocated her children.

Liliana and Rene’s bodies were found in a car belonging to Macomber behind the Elkhart Police Department on Monday after Pasztor allegedly abducted the pair, prompting an AMBER Alert.

Rene Pasztor (left) and Liliana Hernandez
Indiana State Police

Pasztor allegedly approached a police officer outside a police station and told him there were two dead people in the back seat of her car, Elkhart Police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Snyder told PEOPLE.

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Prior to that, the children had last been seen at about 6:21 a.m. Monday. The AMBER Alert was issued on 12:30 p.m., and at a press conference, Snyder said the children were “believed to be in extreme danger.” Police believe Macomber was with Pasztor during the alleged incident.

Pasztor was once questioned in the death of Rene Hernandez, the father of her children and her fiancé, Whitley County officials tell PEOPLE.

Hernandez was found in late 2010 in a remote part of Whitley County. His body was unrecognizable: It had been torn apart by feral dogs and frozen, Whitley County’s Assistant Prosecutor D.J. Sigler tells PEOPLE.

“It was impossible for anyone to determine the cause of death,” Sigler says.

Due to lack of evidence, the case, which was handled by both Whitley and Allen County officials, went cold, Sigler says. At a press conference on Tuesday, Whitley County Sheriff officials said they are reopening Hernandez’s case.

“It would be great with any case that stays open for any closure for the family, even though the news would still hurt, but anything we can do to close that case would be great,” Whitley County Sheriff Marcus Gatton tells PEOPLE.

Pasztor appeared in court for a probable cause hearing Wednesday afternoon, PEOPLE confirms. She is being held without bail in Elkhart County Jail, court officials tell PEOPLE. It is unclear whether she has an attorney.

She has not been charged with the murder of Frank Macomber.