3 children found dead at East L.A. home; mother being questioned

Neighbors embrace in the street near yellow police tape and a police vehicle with flashing lights
Neighbors embrace after three children were found dead Monday at a home on Ferris Avenue in East Los Angeles.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Three children were found dead in an East Los Angeles home Monday under what Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials described as suspicious circumstances.

Deputies responded about 12:45 p.m. to a home in the 600 block of Ferris Avenue following a report of two children not breathing. Inside a bedroom, the deputies found three children who were not breathing and began rendering aid, sheriff’s Lt. Charles Calderaro said.

Despite the efforts of deputies and paramedics, the children — two boys and a girl, all younger than 3 — were pronounced dead at the scene, Calderaro said. It wasn’t immediately clear how they had died, he said.

Emotional neighbors with concerned expressions stand outside
Neighbors come to grips with three children being found dead at a home in East Los Angeles on Monday.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

There were “no obvious signs” of trauma, Calderaro said, adding that the county medical examiner-coroner’s office would make an official finding of the cause of death.

The children’s mother, 28, was inside the home when deputies arrived. She was being detained for questioning Monday as a person of interest, Calderaro said.

He said there was another person in the house when the deputies got there, possibly a relative of the children, and authorities believe that was the person who called.

The lieutenant said it did not appear that the county Department of Children and Family Services had been involved with the children, although he cautioned this information was preliminary.

A police officer holds up some yellow police tape while standing on the bumper of a police vehicle in a residential street
Police work the crime scene where three children were found dead at a home on Ferris Avenue in East Los Angeles on Monday.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

The modest, one-story beige home was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape as detectives and other sheriff’s employees went in and out. There were the trappings of a seemingly happy home: a large trampoline in the front yard, two colorful bird cages hanging on the porch, a sign congratulating this year’s graduates of Garfield High School over the entryway.

The discovery comes three months after three young children were found dead in an apartment in Reseda. In that case, the siblings’ mother was eventually arrested.