Killing of 3 daughters: Mom could face death penalty

Killing of 3 daughters: Carol Coronado of Torrance, Calif., faces three charges of murder for killing her three daughters, all under the age of 3.

By , Associated Press

A mother was charged Friday with three counts of murder in the stabbing of her three young daughters, whose bloody bodies were found arranged on a bed at her California home.

Carol Coronado, 30, also faces one count of attempted murder after trying to kill her mother, said Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The bodies of the girls, ages 2, 16 months and 2 months, were discovered by their grandmother on Tuesday when she visited her daughter near Torrance, authorities said.

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The charges carry special allegations of multiple murders and personally using a knife that would make Coronado eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Prosecutors had not decided whether to seek capital punishment.

No motive for the killings has been released. Investigators were checking Coronado's medical and mental health history and trying to determine whether she may have suffered from postpartum depression following the birth of her youngest child, sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman told the Los Angeles Times.

Neighbors and authorities say the girls' grandmother arrived for a visit then frantically ran outside, threw a bloody knife to the ground and told the girls' father, who was working on a car, that his wife had gone crazy. Then she called 911.

Sheriff's officials have said the children had been deliberately placed on the bed and their mother was found naked next to them.

Coronado has been hospitalized with self-inflicted wounds and was expected to be transferred to the jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

"When she is able to leave the hospital, she will be arraigned," Ardalani said.

"Pray for that woman. She had a demon inside her that day," John Carrion, godfather of the three sisters, told CBS Los Angeles.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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