Mom accused of killing 3 girls charged with murder, attempted murder

The woman accused of killing her three young daughters in West Carson this week has been charged with murder, sheriff's officials said Friday.

Carol Coronado, 30, faces three counts of murder in connection with the deaths of her daughters -- identified by relatives as Sophia, 2 1/2; Yazmine, 16 months; and Xenia, 2 months -- the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Coronado was also charged with one count of attempted murder. Investigators said the charge related to Coronado's mother, but did not elaborate.

Coronado, who remained hospitalized Friday with self-inflicted wounds, was in the process of being transferred to the County-USC Medical Center's jail ward and booked on the charges, sheriff's officials said Friday afternoon.

Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives are still trying to determine what prompted the slayings Tuesday at Coronado's home in the 1000 block of West 223rd Street. That evening, authorities allege, Coronado's mother found her daughter naked and "covered with blood" on a bed near the neatly lined up bodies of her own three girls.

Investigators were looking into Coronado's medical history and mental health, sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman said, including whether she might have suffered postpartum depression after the birth of her youngest daughter.

Detectives removed several knives from the home, Coleman said. There was evidence the girls had been stabbed, he added, but it was unclear what other injuries they may have sustained.

Those who know the family said there was no indication that anything was wrong. One relative said Coronado's husband -- who was working on a pickup across the street when his daughters were killed -- was "dazed and confused."

"Right now, he's giving her the benefit of doubt," relative John Carrion said. "He just said he didn't believe he saw Carol — he saw a demon inside her. He said he doesn't blame Carol. He blames the … demon."

Carrion declined to speak further about the children's mother, saying only that he had never seen her angry.

"I don't know how I feel about the woman right now," he said. "I don't understand what was going on in that woman's head."

On Wednesday evening, several dozen people attended a vigil for the slain girls, including their father. Surrounded by relatives and friends, he cried and rubbed the photos of his three daughters.