A 30-year-old woman suspected of stabbing her three young children to death remained in custody Sunday as authorities continued to investigate the tragic case.
Liliana Carrillo was arrested Saturday in the Ponderosa area of Tulare County, east of Porterville, according to Officer Rosario Cervantes of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The LAPD reported early Saturday afternoon that Carrillo may have carjacked a silver Toyota pickup in the Bakersfield area before her arrest.
The bodies of the three children, who were all under age 4, were found at an apartment in the 8000 block of Reseda Boulevard in Reseda, near Strathern Street, after the deaths were reported at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Cervantes.
According to NBC4 and ABC7, which both cited police sources, the victims were found by their grandmother and had been stabbed to death.
The children’s father was embroiled in a custody dispute with Carrillo and had made attempts to get the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to intervene due to her erratic behavior, according to multiple media reports Sunday.
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family identified the father as Erik Denton, and included a photograph of him with the three kids.
Denton sought custody of the children on March 1 in Tulare County family court and petitioned for a mental health evaluation of Carrillo, the Los Angeles Times reported.
For her part, Carrillo sought a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Denton on March 12 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the newspaper reported.
Denton told the paper that he tried to get local authorities to intervene, but “the LAPD would not get involved.” He added that Carrillo was supposed to surrender the kids to him on Sunday.
Neighbors were shocked and dismayed at the crime.
“My heart is broken,” Dayna Campbell, a resident in the Reseda neighborhood, told NBC4. “Every time I see news about children like this, my heart breaks in pieces. And now, it’s like right in front of my building. It’s unbelievable.”
Another neighbor, Mishal Hashimi, told NBC4: “Leave the house, leave the children, leave your family or whatever, but don’t harm children.”