An Arizona mother who police say admitted to drowning her twin sons in a bath because “nobody loved them” and attempted to do the same to another child, was ordered held on $2m bail on Monday by a commissioner.

Mireya Alejandra Lopez, 22, made her first appearance in Maricopa County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from the incident at her suburban Phoenix home.

Lopez, who has a history of mental illness and was on medication, was arrested on Sunday in the suburb of Avondale, west of Phoenix, after the boys’ grandmother called police.

Arriving officers and paramedics found the twins unconscious on a bed in the residence and they were taken to local hospitals where they were pronounced dead, police said.

New details emerged about the bath drownings in a probable-cause statement filed by police ahead of the hearing.

In the document, officers say Lopez admitted holding the toddlers face down in the water by the back of their heads until they were no longer moving.

Lopez also told police she grabbed a pen and poked a hole through into of the boys’ necks to “ensure he was deceased” before wrapping them in a blanket and putting them on a bed, according to the papers.

Lopez wanted to end their lives because they were being bullied and treated differently, police say.

“Ms Lopez said she did not want her children to grow up living a difficult life and she felt they needed to be at peace,” police said in the statement.

The third child, a three-year-old boy, was saved by the grandmother, who arrived in time to prevent him from facing the same fate, according to police. He was not injured after being briefly held underwater.

Police said Lopez told them the child also was being mistreated and she was concerned he rarely ate and was anti-social, court papers stated.

“Ms Lopez said she thought it was better for them to be at peace than to have to live with the same difficulties she has,” the documents said.

Lopez also said she suffers from manic depression, psychosis and schizophrenia and takes eight pills daily to help with the illnesses.

Lopez was declared to be indigent by a court commissioner on Monday and will be appointed a public defender, court officials said. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

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