A woman who allegedly killed her three young daughters at their home in an unincorporated area near Torrance while her husband was working on a car outside was charged today with three counts of murder.
Carol Coronado, 30, was also charged with a count of attempted murder involving her mother, who discovered the girls' bodies Tuesday evening and found her daughter in the home, covered in blood, authorities said.
The charges include a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, opening Coronado to a possible death sentence. Prosecutors said they will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.
Sheriff's officials said Coronado, who has been hospitalized since Tuesday with self-inflicted stab wounds, was transferred to a jail ward at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center to be booked. Since she is hospitalized, an arraignment date was not immediately set.
The girls' grandmother discovered the bodies of Sophia, 2, Yazmine, 16 months, and Xenia, 2 months, shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday at the home in the 1000 block of West 223rd Street. The woman ran out of the house screaming and alerted the father, then called 911, officials said.
A neighbor said Coronado was covered in blood and naked under a blanket when she was led from the home by sheriff's deputies.
Investigators said several knives were discovered at the scene.
John Carrion, who said he and his wife were the godparents of the dead children, told reporters at the scene that the family had been preparing to baptize the children.
"All I ask everybody out there is pray for my babies, please pray for my babies, even though we know they're all in heaven," he said. "Pray for (the children's father) and even pray for that woman because she had a demon inside her that day."
Sheriff's Detective Lt. Dave Coleman said Coronado was briefly in the Army after high school, but her military career was cut short by an injury.
Neighbors said there had been no outward signs of trouble in the home, with one woman saying that Coronado's children appeared well cared for and happy when their mother took them on strolls in the neighborhood.
--City News Service