Court Documents Show Woman Suspected In Deaths Of Children Was Involved In Custody Battle

Court documents obtained by CBS Los Angeles show 30-year-old Liliana Carrillo, the woman suspected in the deaths of her three children, was involved in an ongoing custody battle with the children's father, Erik Denton.

Video Transcript

- A mother in the middle of a child custody battle accused of taking the lives of her three children in Reseda. The youngest just six months old. We have obtained court documents that detail the disputes between the parents in this case.

- Just an awful story. And we've learned the suspect Lilliana Carrillo, will stay in Tulare County at least for now, worse she's facing robbery accusations. [? KCAL ?] Hermela Aregawi looks at the background on this tragic case.

HERMELA AREGAWI: A heartbreaking tragedy that begs the question, what happened that made it possible for a mother, who allegedly took the lives of her three young kids?

- If there was a way to protect the children, if somebody noticed something.

HERMELA AREGAWI: According to court documents in Tulare County Family Court, the children's father Erik Denton said he had noticed a change in their mother, Lilliana Carrillo. Denton wrote on February 25th, Carrillo took our three children and took all their legal documents, including their birth certificate, and refuses to disclose their location. Court records show Denton sought custody of the children on March 1st in Tulare County Family Court and petitioned for a mental health evaluation of Carrillo. On March 12th, Carrillo sought a temporary restraining order against Denton in LA County.

ALEXANDRA KAZARIAN: This is the kind of case that every family law practitioner just dreads.

HERMELA AREGAWI: We spoke with legal analyst Alexandra Kazarian who reviewed the documents in the case.

ALEXANDRA KAZARIAN: Looking at the documents it looks like a couple that's going back and forth during a really tough time in their relationship. Both sides seem to be lodging some pretty serious claims against the other side.

HERMELA AREGAWI: In the papers Denton says Lilliana Carrillo was having psychosis. He says at some point she thought she was solely responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and accused him of doing something inappropriate with one of their children.

ALEXANDRA KAZARIAN: It's really hard to know who's telling the truth, who's exaggerating and what steps you need to take to really protect the children. How does a judge on a bench, who's hearing these allegations on paper for the first time, how does a judge make that decision? These are snap decisions that people make.

HERMELA AREGAWI: On March 26th a judge ruled the couple would continue joint custody. There was another hearing in the case set for this Wednesday. In Reseda, Hermela Aregawi, KCAL 9 News.