California prosecutors have charged a mother with three counts of first-degree murder after she allegedly killed her three daughters, all of whom were less than three years old. Carol Ann Coronado, 30, was arrested on Tuesday evening in West Carson after her mother called police upon discovering Coronado lying in bed and covered in blood alongside the bodies of her daughters. Coronado has also been charged with allegedly attempting to kill her own mother. After being arrested, Coronado was taken to a hospital to be treated for what are described to be self-inflicted stabbing and slicing wounds, including a puncture to her chest. As of Wednesday she was reported to be in stable condition. Her husband, and father to the three dead girls, says that he does not blame his wife; but rather the “demon” inside of her.
Officials have not provided further details on the injuries to Coronado’s mother that resulted in the attempted murder charge, or if she suffered any injuries at all. They did say that all three girls, aged approximately two months to three years old, were stabbed to death.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Coronado’s mother received a call from Coronado asking her to visit. When she arrived at the California home, she found Coronado naked in bed next to the bodies of her daughters, which had been “neatly arranged.” The girls were identified as Xenia, two months, Yazmine, 16 months, and Sophia, two-and-a-half years. At the time of the murders, the father of the girls was repairing a truck, which had been parked across the street. Coronado’s mother ran out of the little white house screaming, “She killed the babies!” Holding a bloody knife in her hand, she hurriedly dialed her cell phone. The father ran into the house and found the girls’ bodies.
Neighbors told the L.A. Times that Coronado, wrapped in a blanket and handcuffed, looked “dazed” as police took her from the California home. Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, says that the father is not considered a suspect.
No motive for the killings has been given. Lieutenant Dave Coleman of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office told the Times that they had not previously had any contact with Coronado. Coronado is a stay-at-home mother who was given a medical discharge from the Army over 10 years ago. Among the possible reasons for the murders may be postpartum depression, given that Coronado has recently given birth.
People familiar with the California family say that they saw no reason to believe that there was anything wrong with Coronado, whose Facebook page contained multiple pictures of the girls and who was often seen taking them for walks in the quiet neighborhood. Coronado’s husband, Rudy, is said to believe that it was a demon inside of his wife who killed the children and for that reason, he does not blame her. According to Ardalani, because Carol Coronado faces charges of multiple counts of first-degree murder, she is eligible for the death penalty if she is found guilty.
By Jennifer Pfalz