The story at first appeared to be just another sad tale of a possible transient with mental health problems.
Neighbors at home Saturday night in the 22500 block of Victory Blvd. called the police, reporting that a woman was sitting on their front porch for hours, acting erratically.
“She started to scream, asking for the Bible. ‘Where is my Bible?’ Then she said, ‘You know, I killed my kids.’ But the police, they think that she is crazy,” said Blanca Hernandez, a resident on Victory.
Police took the woman, Angela Flores, 38, to the hospital for evaluation Saturday night, not knowing where she lived. They did not perform a welfare check until Sunday morning, when Flores’ 16-year-old son went next door to call 911 for help. Police responded to the report of an assault with a deadly weapon.
The story turned tragic when bodies of three children were found inside the home at Victory and Sale Avenue. It was even more unsettling as Sunday was Mother’s Day.
The three were identified by the coroner as 12-year-old Natalie Flores, 10-year-old Kevin Yanez and eight-year-old Nathan Yanez.
After investigation, authorities said that Angela Flores, their mother, confessed to killing the children with the help of her 16-year-old son. She said she believed the children were possessed by demons.
Police have not said how the children were killed, but did say the victims suffered signs of trauma. The investigation is ongoing and awaiting autopsy results.
Neighbors said that the Flores family had moved into the home only three months ago, but that they often heard arguments and screaming coming from the home, including the night before the children were discovered.
The father of Kevin and Nathan Yanez, Frederico Yanez-Saldivar, lived out of state but released this statement: “The family is shocked and saddened by this horrific situation. They ask that everyone respect their privacy.”
The owner of the home and Flores’ landlord, Mike Vosogh, told CBS he had met the children just three weeks ago. “I find this heart-wrenching, especially because I knew the innocent, young children. I hope the responsible parties receive the maximum available punishment under the law.”
Angela Flores was arrested and charged with three counts of murder. She is being held on $6 million bail.
The 16-year-old, who has not been identified, was arrested on one count of murder and is being held at Juvenile Hall without bail.
Flores appeared at Van Nuys courthouse on Wednesday, and hid in a corner behind the door to the defendants’ holding area while answering questions from Judge David Yaroslovsky.
She was asked and agreed to delay entering her plea to August 12. Her public defender did not comment on the case.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon said, “We all grieve for these children. The loss of their young lives is a tragedy that has affected our entire community. My prosecutors are working to hold accountable those responsible for their deaths.”