RESEDA (CBSLA) – On Sunday evening Erik Denton, the father of three children slain in Reseda on Saturday, arrived at the apartment complex where the crime occurred.
Denton placed several star-shaped balloons, a bubble machine, some toys and portraits of each of his children to the growing memorial outside the apartment complex. He also took off, folded and left behind the plaid shirt he was wearing because it matched the shirt he wore in some of the photos.
He was too distraught to speak, but CBS Los Angeles earlier spoke with his cousin, Dr. Teri Miller.
“I mean, we’re completely destroyed,” she said. “Those kids were everything. I mean, his whole being and essence just revolves around those kids. He had his heart set on seeing the kids because he was supposed to pick the kids up today and have them for the week.”
Liliana Carrillo, the 30-year-old woman suspected of killing her and Denton’s three small children, is in custody following a chase into Kern County, where she’s also accused of a carjacking during a run from police.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Monday that it was seeking extradition to L.A. County after “conferring with the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.”
As of Monday afternoon, Carrillo remained in custody in Tulare County, where she was arrested.
According to authorities, the killings happened early Saturday morning in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Reseda.
Los Angeles police confirmed that the stabbings were reported by the children’s grandmother at 9:30 a.m. at an apartment in the 8000 block of Reseda Boulevard.
The children — 3-year-old Joanna, 2-year-old Terry and 6-month-old Sierra — were pronounced dead at the scene.
Denton was in a custody battle with Carrillo for his kids, according to court records.
Denton’s family said that Carrillo and the kids had been staying with her mother in the small Reseda apartment after taking the children from their home in Northern California.
Dr. Miller, who’s trained in emergency medicine, said Carrillo has never received a psychological evaluation, but that the family noticed she hadn’t been well since giving birth to her second child. According to the family, things got even worse after her third pregnancy and reports of new COVID-19 strains.
“She believed that the city they were living in was unsafe and that there was a sex-trafficking ring and that most of the city was involved in it.” Miller also said Carrillo believed her children were being pulled into the sex-trafficking ring.
While the coroner’s office is working to confirm the exact cause of the children’s death, the police are still unclear on a motive for the killings.
A GoFundMe page has been setup to help raise funds for the children’s funeral expenses.