A woman suspected of murdering her three children in Los Angeles said she did it to protect them from abuse.
On Thursday, Liliana Carrillo, 30, granted a prison interview to NBC daughter KGET in Bakersfield, California, where she is being held after she was arrested on suspicion of carjacking the day her children’s bodies were discovered by their grandmother.
The kids, Joanna, 3; Terry, 2; and Sierra, six months old, were found on the morning of April 10 in an apartment in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles. Carrillo fled and was arrested later that day after catching a motorist in Kern County, authorities said.
When asked what happened to the children, she said to KGET, “I drowned them.”
“I had no intention of extraditing my children for further abuse,” she said.
Police initially said the children were stabbed, and the Los Angeles County coroner did not say if there was any drowning.
Carrillo pleaded not guilty to the carjacking, attempted carjacking and taking of a vehicle with the owner’s permission on Wednesday, her public defender, Lexi Blythe, said by email.
Carrillo is being held on $ 2 million bail, along with an additional bail restriction, according to data from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
The Los Angeles County district attorney has not charged her with the deaths of her children, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for information on Saturday.
Carrillo’s claim that her children were maltreated goes against their father’s story in the custody reports filed by Erik Denton in Tulare County on March 1.
The custody request claimed Carrillo was delusional and refused to tell him where she was holding the children.
Denton tried to get the LA County Department of Children and Family Services and the LAPD to intervene, believing that Carrillo was suffering from psychosis and was keeping the kids away from him somewhere in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Denton asked police to take her in for a psychiatric evaluation, the Times reported, and the LAPD has launched an internal investigation into how she handled Denton’s request for help.
The child and family services tried to contact Carrillo, the Times reported, citing records that a social worker tried to visit her, but no one answered the door.
Denton was scheduled to visit the children the day after they were found dead, court records show.
“I didn’t want them to be further abused,” Carrillo told KGET.
She said she “softly” killed the three.
“I hugged them and kissed them,” she said. And I apologized all the time. I promised to protect them. ”
The Associated Press contributed.