The woman suspected of killing her three children in a Reseda apartment admitted to causing their deaths, it was reported Thursday evening.
“I drowned them,” Lilliana Carrillo said in a jailhouse interview with Bakersfield TV station KGET.
Carrillo said she killed the children, ages 3, 2 and 6 months, to protect them from their father, who she claimed was involved in human trafficking.
She said she wished her children were still alive, then added “I prefer them not being tortured and abused on a regular basis for the rest of their lives.”
Carrillo said she hugged and kissed her children, whom she identified as Joanna Maria, 3, Terry Joseph, 2 and Sierra Sequoia, 5 months, and was apologizing “the whole time.”
She said her final message to her children was “I love you and I’m sorry.”
The bodies of the three children were found about 9:30 a.m. Saturday in an apartment in the 8000 block of Reseda Boulevard, near Strathern Street, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rosario Cervantes.
In Tulare County, Carrillo accused the father of the children, Erik Denton, of being involved in a pedophile ring, prompting a police visit to their home, but no arrests were made, Denton said in court papers.
Denton has denied the allegations.
“I regret agreeing to go out with him,” Carrillo said in the interview.
In court papers filed in Tulare County, Denton claimed that Carrillo was “extremely paranoid” and she said was solely responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, had struggled with postpartum depression for years, expressed thoughts of suicide and self-medicated with marijuana.
Carrillo said in the interview she stopped using marijuana in February and was completely sober when she killed her children.
Denton had also reached out on numerous occasions to officials at the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the Los Angeles Police Department that Carrillo was a danger to the children, according to the Los Angeles Times.
DCFS declined to comment on the case, citing state confidentiality laws, but said in a statement that the department “joins the community in mourning.”
LAPD Cmdr. Alan Hamilton told The Times in child custody matters officers will follow the recommendations of the DCFS.
“If DCFS told us they were going to the apartment and needed our help, we would have been there,” Hamilton said.
Carrillo, was arrested Saturday in the Ponderosa area of Tulare County, east of Porterville, Cervantes said.
Carrillo was being held in Kern County on carjacking charges which authorities said she committed while fleeing authorities in Los Angeles. She pleaded not guilty to carjacking Wednesday.
She said she tried to kill herself in Reseda, but was unsuccessful, prompting her to flee the San Fernando Valley and try to find a cliff to drive off of so she “could be with her children.”
Carrillo has not been formally charged with the deaths of her three children.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family. It has raised $41,913.