Deputies investigate deaths of mother, 87, and twin daughters in Hawaiian Gardens

Three dead in Hawaiian Gardens

Sheriff’s deputies investigate scene where three bodies were found in Hawaiian Gardens.

(Barbara Davidson / )

Authorities on Tuesday identified three women who were discovered dead in their Hawaiian Gardens home early Monday morning as a mother and her adult twin daughters.

The bodies of 58-year-old Arlene and Marlene Yoshijima were discovered in a closed garage, near an idling automobile, in the 11800 block of 223rd Street, authorities said. In a separate room, deputies discovered the body of their mother, 87-year-old Misayo Yoshijima.

Lt. Steve Jauch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it is too soon to determine how the family died or whether the twins killed themselves. Detectives, he said, are waiting until all autopsies and laboratory tests have been completed to make an official ruling.

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“There is a lot of scenarios in play right now,” he said.

Ed Winter, spokesman of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, said the mother’s death was initially reported to have been the result of natural causes. The daughters were initially reported to have committed sucide.

After authorities found the daughters’ bodies in an exhaust-filled garage, they also discovered several small, open containers filled with an unknown chemical substance. A Hazmat team removed the containers and chemical substance, which will be tested, Jauch said.

Three deputies who responded to the scene were rushed to the hospital after they suffered sudden illness.  The deputies have recovered and returned to the scene later Monday night, he said.


Detectives say it is possible that carbon monoxide may have caused the deaths, as well as the deputies’ illness. It is unclear how long the elder Yoshijima had been dead, Jauch said.

“It’s a tragic situation,” Jauch said. “Three members of the same family were dead inside the same house.”

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