A California mother who is the “sole suspect” in the deaths of her children was involved in a contentious custody dispute with the children’s father.
Eric Denton told the Los Angeles Times that he filed for custody on March 1, when Liliana Carillo began exhibiting signs of mental instability.
Carillo, 30, responded by requesting a domestic violence restraining order against Denton, filed on March 12 in Los Angeles County.
The children’s grandmother found the toddlers — ages 3, 2, and 6-months — dead at their apartment when she came home from work at about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, as CrimeOnline reported. Carillo was nowhere to be seen, and police launched a manhunt for her.
A few hours later, Carillo abandoned her car in the Bakersfield area and allegedly carjacked a pickup truck, which she drove to the Ponderosa area in Tulare County, where she was taken into custody — and where Denton lives.
Denton told the Times that Carillo might have come to Tulare County to find him, but he was away from home at the time.
Carillo has been booked into the Tulare County jail on a charge of robbery, according to jail records. It’s not clear if Los Angeles police have filed charges related to the murders.
According to court documents filed in the custody case, Denton petitioned for a mental health evaluation for Carillo in early March and orders for that evaluation were drawn up at a March 26 hearing. The next hearing in the case was scheduled for April 14, the Times said.
Denton also told the Times that he tried to get officials in Los Angeles to help with the custody case, but “they wouldn’t help.”
“The LAPD would not get involved,” he said, adding that Carillo was supposed to hand over the children — two girls and a boy — to him on Sunday.
Police sources initially said on Saturday that the children had been stabbed to death but later backtracked and said cause of death had not been determined.
According to the British tabloid the Daily Mail, Carillo had an Instagram account, since taken down, that linked to an old Blogspot page with a few posts from 2013. In them, Carillo largely posted inspirational messages and at one point complained that the stars of the show “Teen Mom” — which she said she was watching because her sister “watches this crap” — were just “idiot after idiot … digging themselves into their own holes.”
Carillo’s first child was born in 2018, five years after her stint on Blogspot.
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[Featured image: Liliana Carillo/Los Angeles Police Department]