After police made the grisly Mother’s Day discovery of the bodies of three children inside a West Hills home, their mother and a 16-year-old were in jail accused of murder.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Angela Dawn Flores, 38, admitted to killing her children with the 16-year-old’s help inside the house at 22547 Victory Boulevard.
Flores was being held on $6 million bail on three murder charges, said Officer Drake Madison, an LAPD spokesman. The teen was in custody without bail in Sylmar Juvenile Hall, arrested on suspicion of one murder charge.
Police had not identified the teen, but neighbors told Fox 11 he was Flores’ son.
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It’s not clear how the children died. Police have not released any other information about their deaths. And none were identified by name Monday.
Neighbors said the mother was acting erratically before the bodies were found. Late Saturday night, Flores was allegedly found with a candle and a Bible in a neighbor’s back yard and was taken away by paramedics.
The next morning at around 7:40 a.m., officers responded to a 9-1-1 call about an assault with a deadly weapon at the home, LAPD said in the statement.
When they got there, the officers found the bodies of a 12-year-old girl and two other children about 8-years-old, LAPD said in a statement.
Neighbors told CBS2 that an older child in the house woke up Sunday morning and found his siblings dead, then ran to a neighbor’s house for help. It’s not clear if that child was the 16-year-old. Police have not corroborated that account.
The neighborhood where the killings occurred sits on the border of West Hills and Woodland Hills, separated by busy Victory Boulevard.
The home — like most others in this area, ranch style with a large lot — is in West Hills, on the north side of the street.
The garden out front is immaculately kept: Bushes full of flowers, neatly trimmed grass and a line of towering palm trees providing shade for a small bench, all nestled around a semicircular driveway.
There were only a few hints of horror.
Mourners left several trinkets behind: Three small stuffed bears, three small stones and three candles in front of one of the outer entrances.
At least three children’s bicycles were piled on top of each other near the open-gate door to the backyard.
While some neighbors heard the commotion of the mother on Saturday night, few seem to have had any indication that something could be amiss inside the home.
“I don’t recall hearing anything,” said Roberta Santoro, who lives just behind Flores’ home.
Three small dogs scurried around Santoro’s feet: She said typically the pups bark at any disturbance, and she’s sure they would have sounded the alarm if loud noises had been heard at the house behind them on Saturday night.
“If a butterfly flies by, they’re all over it,” she said.
Santoro said her only indication something was wrong was when she saw police and paramedics at the home on Sunday.
“I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, there must have been a terrible accident,’ ” she said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.