One of the people arrested in a bizarre plot to fool a married man into believing his girlfriend had twins that ended with a Long Beach baby's kidnapping and death is innocent, a family member said Friday.
Charisse Shelton, 30, was arrested on suspicion of helping to cover up the shooting of two parents and an uncle in Long Beach, the kidnapping of the couple's baby and the infant's subsequent death.
Prosecutors charged three people in connection with the plot Friday but not Shelton. Records show she was still in custody and authorities could not immediately comment on whether she would be released.
Police say Shelton's mother, Giseleangelique D'Milian, 47, identified possible children to abduct by claiming to have a charity that assisted mothers of infants, Long Beach police said.
Police said an associate of D'Milian, Anthony McCall, 29, allegedly stormed the home of 3-week old Eliza Delacruz in the 100 block of West 51st Street in Long Beach on Jan. 3, shot Eliza's parents and uncle and whisked the girl away.
Details about how Eliza died and was disposed of in Imperial Beach the next day were not released. The parents and the uncle survived the attack.
On Friday, a woman who identified herself as Shelton's cousin in Watts said Shelton is a mother with two children who "wouldn't dare hurt a fly, let alone somebody's kid."
Declining to give her name out of privacy concerns, she said Shelton always helped others and just wants to go home to her children.
"It's just somebody being a nice person and getting caught up at the wrong time," the woman said. "Anybody you know will tell you Charisse is a good person."
A fourth person, Todd Boudreaux, 44, of Fontana, also was arrested this week in connection with the case as an alleged accomplice with Shelton.
According to investigators, the plot was an attempt to convince D'Milian's married boyfriend that she had twins.
Weeks after Eliza was killed, police say D'Milian targeted a 23-year-old woman she had known for several years and who had a 4-month-old boy.
Police said the woman had been beaten with a baseball bat by McCall at a hotel in the 2000 block of East Mariposa Avenue in El Segundo. The woman survived the beating, and the boy was found inside the hotel room by responding police.
McCall fled before police arrived, El Segundo Police Chief Rich Tavera said.
D'Milian and McCall were charged with murder, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and attempted murder in the two incidents. Prosecutors are seeking $5-million bail for each.
Boudreaux was charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping in connection with the El Segundo attack, and prosecutors are seeking $1-million bail.
If convicted, all three defendants face up to life in prison.
There are several websites that appear to belong to D'Milian and are connected to her daughter's address in Watts through a phone number.
D'Milian identifies herself as a "multi-talented mogul" who gives career advice, created record labels, was a ghost-writer on Grammy-winning songs and has published several books. More websites are connected to her pseudonym, Rene Reyes.
On one site, D'Milian describes her work as "Just like our Parent brands, we specialise in assisting small to medium sized businesses to become aware of what is impeding their progress, and to focus on achieving a better commercial result."
She had 271 podcasts on iTunes under the title "Speak Into Existence With Rene Reyes," and a photo on her Twitter account is captioned with ""Twins with the man I absolutely love!!!"
Photos across more than half a dozen sites show D'Milian in glamorous poses and exotic locations.