Mother Confesses During Jailhouse Interview to Killing Her 3 Children by Drowning Them: Report
Liliana Carillo and her ex-boyfriend and father of her children, Erik Denton, were in a contentious custody battle. She says she was afraid he would harm them and had to protect them, a report said.
A California mother allegedly confessed during a jailhouse interview with KGET-TV that she killed her three young children by drowning them to keep them away from their father.
Liliana Carrillo, 30, is accused of killing Joanna, 3, Terry, 2, and 6-month-old Sierra in their Los Angeles apartment April 10. Carillo and her ex-boyfriend and the father of her three children, Erik Denton, 30, were reportedly in a bitter custody dispute. Authorities said she had initially stabbed her children, People reported.
“I drowned them. I did it as softly, I don’t know how to explain it,” Carillo told KGET. “I hugged them. I kissed them. I apologized the whole time. I loved my kids.”
After the killing, Carillo allegedly led cops on a long-distance car chase through Kern County to Tulare County, where she was arrested. During the chase, she had allegedly committed a carjacking. She told the news station that she tried to kill herself by driving her car off a cliff but she was captured by police before she was able to take her own life.
She told KGET that she had suffered from anxiety, depression and PTSD for most of her life. "I know that I am going to be in jail for the rest of my life," she said. "That is something I have come to terms with."
Charges have not yet been filed against Carrillo, according to People.
Last week, a Los Angeles judge agreed to move the case to Tulare County, where a hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, according to reports.
Carillo allegedly killed her children on April 10, the day before Denton was scheduled to see them. According to neighbors, the children's grandmother, who was the primary caretaker, first made the grisly discovery when she arrived at the San Fernando Valley apartments after work around 9:30 a.m, according to reports.
Fox11 Los Angeles reported that the crime scene was so gruesome that some of the initial responders are now getting counseling.
As the custody case wound through family courts in Tulare and Los Angeles counties, the parents traded accusations in dozens of pages of documents. Police were called, social workers were consulted, alarming text messages and Facebook posts were saved as legal exhibits, ABC7 reported.
Erik Denton, the distraught father, told the Los Angeles Times that he sought custody of the children after Carrillo began acting mentally unstable on March 1.
On March 4, Denton requested a temporary emergency visitation order from the family court in Porterville. He petitioned for a mental health evaluation of Carrillo, according to court documents, the LA Times reported.
On March 26, orders were drawn up at a hearing, and April 14 would have been their next hearing, the LA Times reported.
In alleged retaliation, on March 12, Carrillo sought a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Denton in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to court documents, the LA Times reported.
Denton told the LA Times that after Carrillo started acting unstable, he tried to get local authorities to intervene, but “in L.A. they wouldn’t help. The LAPD would not get involved.”
Family members have been grief-stricken since they heard the news.
Teri Miller, Erick Denton’s cousin, told KTTV on Sunday that “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.”
Miller said Denton had been seeking help through police and Child Protective Services. She said that Carrillo had left with the children in February, The Washington Post reported.
“He did everything that he could think of to get his kids back home safely and to get her help, too, because he still loved her. But she was just not herself,” Miller said. “So he’s also frustrated with the system because the system failed them. The system failed these kids.”
Miller said Denton had repeatedly reached out to the Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS) services and police as Carrillo "needed help.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services told Inside Edition Digital in a statement that they join the community in mourning the loss of the three children in Reseda.
“State law protects the confidentiality of records for all children and families who may have come to the attention of child protective services, and prohibits confirming or commenting on whether a child or family has been involved with the department,” the statement said. “These laws are in place to protect the confidentiality of children, siblings, and their families as they seek to resolve sensitive matters. The highest priority for the department is the safety and wellbeing of the county’s two million children and youth. Our mission to protect children is one we share with our partners in law enforcement and the community. We continue to collaborate toward a shared vision of ensuring every child is able to grow up in a safe, stable, and loving home.”
Denton’s family also claimed the children's father had obtained an emergency order, giving him custody of the children, in early March but could not get help, Fox11 reported.
Brandy Kirkpatrick, a childhood friend of Erik Denton, described him as a “loving” father. She created the GoFundMe fundraiser entitled “No Words” to help the family pay for funeral expenses
“It is more than words to describe his loss and the help that Erik needs at this time,” she said. 'Any contribution will be greatly appreciated.”
As of Monday, nearly $44,000 has been raised.
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