The woman arrested on suspicion of killing her three young children at her Los Angeles apartment had been involved in a custody dispute with their father, according to a newspaper report Sunday.
Liliana Carrillo, 30, was arrested Saturday in Tulare County after fleeing the gruesome scene and leading law enforcement officers on a long-distance chase, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Times cites family court documents that show Eric Denton sought custody of the children — ages 3, 2 and 6 months — on March 1.
Denton requested a temporary emergency visitation order from the court on March 4 and petitioned for a mental health evaluation of Carrillo, according to the newspaper. Orders were drawn up at a March 26 hearing. Another hearing in the case was scheduled for April 14.
In response, Carrillo sought a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Denton on March 12 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, documents show.
In a brief interview with the Times, Denton confirmed he was the father of the three children — two girls and a boy — and said he’d been in a custody battle with Carrillo after she began acting mentally unstable.
Denton said he tried to get local authorities to intervene, but “in L.A. they wouldn’t help. The LAPD would not get involved.” He said Carrillo was supposed to turn over the kids to him on Sunday.
The children’s grandmother returned home from work Saturday morning and found the bodies and the mother missing, Los Angeles police Lt. Raul Jovel said.
Police said initial reports suggested the children had been stabbed to death, but no official cause of death has been released.
Los Angeles police initially received reports Carrillo was driving her car and heading north on Interstate 5 when she got in an altercation in the Bakersfield area. She abandoned her car and carjacked another vehicle, Jovel said.
Carrillo was detained in the Ponderosa area of Tulare County, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Bakersfield, police said.