The first photo has emerged of three young children who were allegedly stabbed to death by their mother in Southern California as police continue working to uncover a motive.
Liliana Carrillo, 30, was arrested on Saturday hours after police said she killed her two sons and daughter, aged two, three and six months, at her apartment in Los Angeles.
The children’s grandmother discovered the grisly scene that morning and Carrillo fled the home in a stolen car, sparking an hours-long manhunt that ended with her being taken into custody in Ponderosa, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Loved ones set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the children’s father, Erick Denton, cover the costs of their funerals.
The campaign, which has already raised more than $13,500 as of midday Sunday, features an adorable photo of the three kids playing outside with their dad.
Denton’s cousin, Teri Miller, revealed on Sunday that the father had been fighting Carrillo, his ex-girlfriend, for custody of the kids long before they were killed.
Miller told Fox 11 that Denton had repeatedly contacted the Department of Children and Family Services because he felt Carrillo ‘needed help’.
‘Liliana was very sick, and this is not – she was not herself, and it’s been going on for several months that she has been unwell,’ the cousin said.
Three young children who were allegedly stabbed to death by their mother in Los Angeles on Saturday are pictured with their father, Erick Denton, in a photo posted on a GoFundMe campaign
c, 30, (left and right) was arrested on Saturday hours after police said she killed her two sons and daughter, aged two, three and six months, at her apartment in Los Angeles. A relative claimed Carrillo had been ‘unwell’ for months
Police are pictured outside the apartment building where Carrillo allegedly killed her children on Saturday
Erick Denton, the father of the children is pictured in the foreground, with the mother, Liliana Carrillo, in the background
An apparently pregnant Liliana Carrillo, left, is seen with the father of their children, Erick Denton
Miller noted that Denton had received an emergency order granting him custody of the kids in March, but suggested that no one helped enforce it so the kids remained living with their mother and grandmother.
‘He’s also frustrated with the system, because the system failed them,’ Miller said of Denton. ‘The system failed these kids.’
Video courtesy of KTLA
Teri Miller, whose cousin Erick Denton was the children’s father, shared her grief in an interview with Fox 11 (pictured)
Police said the grandmother returned home from work on at about 9.30am Saturday and found the children dead inside Carrillo’s apartment in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Carrillo had apparently already fled the scene in her own car before ditching it for a stolen silver Toyota pickup truck in Bakersfield.
She was apprehended in a Tulare County after the LAPD received reports she was driving north on Interstate 5, a spokesperson for the LAPD confirmed to DailyMail.com.
Before her arrest LAPD Lt Raul Jovel had said that Carrillo was considered a suspect in the stabbings but police hadn’t ruled out other possible perpetrators.
After her arrest the LAPD confirmed that Carrillo was the sole suspect.
Neighbors said they had assumed that the children’s grandmother was their primary guardian after seeing them around the Reseda neighborhood.
‘At this point, she is a suspect in this incident but that doesn’t exclude other people,’ Jovel said.
He added: ‘We’re trying to figure out what ties she has up north.’
Lupe Cuevas, a neighbor of Carrillo and her children, told the San Bernardino Sun that she interacted with the three children and their grandmother during afternoon walks around the neighborhood.
One of the children, a girl, was drawn to her Chihuahua, Rosie, Cuevas told the newspaper.
‘She wasn’t shy. She was sweet,’ Cuevas said. ‘An angel shouldn’t have to go that way.
‘Those babies were such sweet little ones. It hurts.’
Los Angeles Police officers at the crime scene where three children were stabbed to death and their mother was arrested Saturday in Reseda, California
Los Angeles Police officers at the crime scene where three children were killed in Reseda, California on Saturday morning
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore exits an apartment complex as police investigate in Reseda
On Saturday DailyMail.com revealed that Carrillo kept a blog where she criticized Teen Mom stars for being bad mothers.
An Instagram account believed to belong to Carrillo, which has since been deleted, had linked to an old blog that apparently belonged to her in which she had written positive, inspirational messages and a few confessions about herself called ‘Blogging For Good.’
In her posts, Carrillo talked ‘about common life issues and obstacles that people may have encountered’.
Many of the posts are filled with messages describing ‘opportunities for change’ and telling readers to ‘take charge of your life.’
‘I am not perfect, I still have many issues but overall I am happy and proud of my past. I love my present life and look forward to my future,’ she wrote in 2013.
A number of her posts also address her family – though her children would not have been born by the time she stopped writing in the blog.
On Saturday DailyMail.com revealed that Carrillo kept a blog where she criticized Teen Mom stars for being bad mothers
In one post from May 10, 2013, Carrillo recounted her irritation with the show Teen Mom 2 in which she claimed its stars ‘physically and emotionally abuse their partners and then victimize themselves.’
‘My sister watches this crap and I got stuck eating lunch in the living room with her,’ she wrote.
She added: ‘They are involved in heavy drugs, cannot escape them, and then cry about how they can’t access their child… I mean really?’
‘All of these mothers that have been presented have in my opinion, and forgive me if this offends anyone but it is my opinion and I hold strongly to it, just idiot after idiot. I do not feel pity for them.’
She added: ‘There’s no denying that there are a few mothers in the show who progress from their situations and grow from their troubles but there are others that I am shocked as to how or why they still have custody of their child.’
In her blog posts, Carrillo talked ‘about common life issues and obstacles that people may have encountered’
In that same post, she said that had also been in ‘unhealthy relationships’ in which she would ‘ go out with my girls, drink, smoke, lose control.’
‘I’m not perfect. I was a person in these same situations, minus the child,’ she wrote.
‘Believe in yourself and summon strength from within to push you to do the best you can do. This world is limitless. You are your own worst enemy.’
In that post, she also wished her mother a ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ It was not immediately clear if the grandmother of the children who were killed was Carrillo’s mother or the children’s paternal grandmother.
‘She has put up with more than I can imagine myself doing. She has struggled so much to raise this family. Although we do not agree on many things, I will always be grateful for the opportunities she has provided for me,’ Carrillo wrote.
‘I may not have been dealt the cards in life everyone dreams of but I was blessed with an overbearing, over-loving mother whom also played the role of a strict father and an even more loving and caring sibling unit.’
Carrillo also appeared to struggle with her identity, at some times calling herself a ‘passionate lover’ and at others referring to herself as ‘selfish’ and a ‘manipulator.’
‘As for you, have a f**king amazing time today! Be yourself, don’t give mind to those that are hating on you. They probably need a hug and a smile,’ she wrote in one post.
An Instagram account belonging to Carrillo, which has since been deleted, linked to a blog she apparently once had
Carrillo, right, is pictured with a man in a post made to an Instagram
In one post made to a blog Carrillo slammed the stars of Teen Mom 2 as bad mothers
A post made by Carrillo to her Instagram before it was deleted appears to reference her children
In an Instagram post, Carrillo said she had posted about wounded children