Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Suspect arrested after 3 children found dead in California apartment

Three children killed in front of their mother by her 33-year-old husband in horror attack Three children found dead inside West Sacramento apartment
Lillian Steele | 16 September, 2017, 01:14

Robert Hodges was taken into custody shortly after midnight early Thursday morning, after he was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers on Interstate 80 near West El Camino Avenue in Sacramento.

West Sacramento Police Sgt. Roger Kinney said the mother was a domestic violence victim but he couldn't detail how extensive her injuries were. According to The Sacramento Bee, "neighbors say Robert Hodges, 32, choked his wife until she ran out of their second-floor apartment, then smothered the children inside the home".

Police and first responders attempted to save the childrens' lives but they were pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the woman was in a relationship with the suspect, but it is unknown if he was the father of the children. By the time police arrived at the home, Holdges had already fled.

The children's mother, a victim of domestic violence and Hodges' wife, witnessed Hodges kill the children, Kinney said. The children and their mother had not yet been officially identified on September 14, and their ages were not released yet by authorities. He added that "I never heard them fight, never heard the parents argue, ever.I got the impression he loved his kids, got the impression the kids loved their dad".

"It wasn't easy", said Southport Elementary Teacher Christel Cruz as her eyes welled up. "The officers are absolutely impacted, along with the firefighters, and certainly the family, the neighbors - this call is going to have quite a bit of emotion".

He continued: "It's horrific and it's very hard to deal with. This is going to take not hours, not days, it's going to take a long time to come to grips with what happened there".

Speaking to kcra, local resident, Theresa Bustamante expressed shock of news of the triple homicide. Grief counselors will be made available to students in the school district, according to reports. I was in my apartment the whole time.

The slayings left his relatives and neighbors pondering what might have gone wrong in a family they said seemed happy, with no sign of turmoil. We played different games like racing, and I don't know, it's (like) bang.

The school that two of the children attended plans a candlelight vigil Thursday. "It just happened. It's so sad", Daniel said.

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