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Autopsy shows kids died from asphyxia, dad charged with first-degree murder

An autopsy report shows the five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy died by asphyxia due to smothering.

ROCK FALLS, Ill. — Editor's Note: The above video is from June 10, 2021

A dad accused in the deaths of his five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son from Rock Falls, Illinois has been charged with murder.

Adam Price was arrested in May of 2021 after his two children were found dead in his Nebraska home. An autopsy report released in October prompted the charges against Price to be upgraded from child abuse resulting in death to first-degree murder of both his children. 

Both Emily and Theodore "died by asphyxia due to smothering," according to Bonnie Moore, who is Sarpy County, Nebraska's Chief Deputy Attorney.

The children's mother, Mary Nielsen, said Emily and Theodore were at the home for court-ordered visitation with their father. She contacted police Saturday night, May 15 because she could not reach her children.  The next day the children were found dead and Price, who had fled, was later arrested in Pacifica, California. 

Price has been held in the Sarpy County Jail since May 27.  He is due back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

"I'm hoping my babies get justice and soon," said Nielsen. "It is very sickening and unimaginable what he did to them."

RELATED: Rock Falls mom mourning the loss of her children says court system failed them 

Nielsen told News 8 she had moved back in with her parents after spending years in what she said was an abusive marriage with Price. She said she just wanted happiness for herself and for her children.

Grieving the loss of her two children, Nielsen sat down with News 8's Jillian Mahen to remember the two lives she brought into the world and how much joy they brought to her. 

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