Thursday, March 23, 2023

3 children found dead in San Fernando Valley home; mother arrested

Three children were found dead in a San Fernando Valley home on Mother’s Day, and their mother was arrested.

Police received a 911 call regarding an assault with a deadly weapon on the 22500 block of Victory Boulevard Sunday at 7:40 am, Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Cruz said. When officers arrived, they found the bodies of three children in the residence, which borders Woodland Hills and West Hills.

The children’s mother was detained, Cruz said. No additional suspects were being sought as of Sunday afternoon. Later Sunday, around 9:30 pm, the woman was arrested after questioning, said Officer D. Orris at the LAPD Operations Centre. Her name was not immediately released.

Orris said the children found by officers were a 12-year-old girl and her 8-year-old twin brothers. The cause of the deaths has not been disclosed by police and their names were being withheld. One neighbor said he understood they had been shot.

The neighbor, Stephen Hayes, told a freelance videographer with OC Hawk the residents had seemed like a “normal” family, though on Saturday night, the mother was acting strange. “The lady was out, wandering around, talking incoherently,” he said.

On Sunday morning, police cars and ambulances hastened into the neighborhood.

“They were (found) shot,” Hayes said of the children. “On Mother’s Day.”

The mother had been heard shouting, “I’m being abused by my family” Saturday at about 10:30 pm, said Priscila Canales, 39, who lives two doors down from the one-story, ranch-style home blocked off with yellow crime-scene tape on Sunday.

Canales said the woman later went into a neighboring backyard, lit a candle and clutched a Bible. She refused to leave, so police were summoned.

Officers left when paramedics took the woman to a hospital at about midnight, Canales said. Then, on Sunday morning, someone went to a neighbor’s house and said the woman had not come home and the children were dead.

The home is on a major, tree-lined thoroughfare in a neighborhood made up of single-family houses. Nearby residents described it as a quiet area that rarely attracts the attention of police.

Mona Lincome and other neighbors said the family who lived at the crime scene moved in between two and three months ago, and mostly kept to themselves. She recalled watching the children riding bikes, or walking to and from nearby shops with their mother to run errands in the evening.

“They just seemed like a normal family,” Lincome said.

Last April, a Reseda mother was charged with killing her three children, ages 3, 2 and 6 months. Their father and his family said they repeatedly alerted LA County child services officials and police to Liliana Carrillo’s severe mental health issues leading up to her drowning her children.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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