LOS ANGELES –
The mother of three children who were found dead at their Los Angeles home over the weekend was charged Tuesday with murder.
Angela Flores, 38, is accused of killing 8-year-old Nathan Yanez, 10-year-old Kevin Yanez and 12-year-old Natalie Flores, whose bodies were discovered Sunday morning at their home in the West Hills neighborhood, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
The cause of their deaths remained under investigation.
Police have said Flores acknowledged to investigators that she killed the children and contended that she was helped by a teenager.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested along with Flores but the district attorney’s office didn’t announce any charges against him. The teen was being held in juvenile detention.
Flores reportedly had several other children but authorities didn’t immediately say whether the teenager was her son.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Flores had an attorney to speak on her behalf. She remained jailed on $6 million bail.
“We all grieve for these children. The loss of their young lives is a tragedy that has affected our entire community,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement.
Investigators haven’t released a possible motive for the killings.
Seven hours before they were found dead, the mother was taken to a hospital because neighbors said she had been acting strangely.
Prisila Canales, who lives near the ranch-style house where the killings happened, told reporters there was a disturbance late Saturday night in which Flores screamed and acted erratically until someone called authorities.
Canales said paramedics put the woman on a stretcher and that she struggled and yelled, “Where’s my Bible?”
Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, the fire department responded to a “medical response” request from the police department, fire spokeswoman Margaret Stewart told the Los Angeles Times.
Jacob Corona, Flores’ ex-husband, told the Times that she made odd comments when she called him nearly a week before the killings.
“She was telling me all this stuff about God. She didn’t sound right. I don’t really know what happened,” Corona said.
“She was not really religious before,” he said. “But then she was talking about death. I told her, `What’s going on?’ My head was going over so many things, but I didn’t think anything of it.”
The couple married in 2001 and divorced in 2007. They had a child together who didn’t live with Flores and wasn’t among the children who died, Corona said.
The children’s deaths were under investigation by the abused child unit of the LAPD’s Juvenile Division, the Times said.
The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services said it was unable to comment on whether it had been involved with the family, the Times said.