A California father has been arrested after authorities say he decapitated two of his four children.
The situation began at 7:36 a.m. Friday when Los Angeles County Fire Department crews were called to a gas leak in the 45000 block of Century Circle. On arrival, two children were found dead at the scene, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department reports.
Police arrested Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., 34, and charged him with murder and child abuse for the deaths of Maurice Taylor Jr., 12, and Malaka Taylor, 13.
According to Lt. Brandon Dean, the children’s bodies were in separate bedrooms. Two other children were also in the home but appeared uninjured. They were taken to an area hospital for a medical evaluation. The children’s mother, who was also in the home, was taken in for questioning but hasn’t been charged.
NBC 4 reports that prosecutors said Wednesday that Taylor’s two oldest children were killed on November 24. He made his two younger children, ages 8 and 9, look at their siblings’ corpses, then forced them to stay in their bedrooms without food for days.
Several of Taylor's colleagues had reported to the police that they were concerned about the family when Taylor , who had been working from home due to the pandemic, failed to show up for Zoom meetings. Neighbors say that they hadn't seen much of the family in the last few weeks but described Taylor as being "pretty chill". They also say that, though Taylor seemed nice, their house was "weird" and they never recalled seeing four children, only two, coming and going from the home.
He was initially held in lieu of $2 million bail, but his bail was increased Tuesday to $4.2 million while he awaits arraignment Dec. 21 at the Lancaster courthouse.
Taylor faces a potential state prison sentence of 57 years and four months to life if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
This pandemic has really made us all take a good look at the country's citizens, Mental health seems to be fragile for tons of people who are choosing violence over getting help. If you, or someone you know, is struggling, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. They have skilled and compassionate representatives who are there to talk to those in need.
Don't be ashamed to seek help.
Our prayers go out to this family.