A woman suspected of killing her three young children in Los Angeles, then fleeing north through Kern County and carjacking a vehicle along the way, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Wednesday in Kern County Superior Court.
Liliana Carrillo, 30, was apprehended in Tulare County on Saturday after being identified as the sole suspect in the deaths of her three young children, whose bodies were discovered in Reseda earlier in the day.
In Kern County, four felony charges have been filed in incidents involving two separate vehicles and two victims although the crimes occurred within moments of each other, according to the Kern County District Attorney's Office.
"Today, Liliana Carrillo was arraigned on carjacking, attempted carjacking and auto theft charges regarding the April 10 event that happened in the Kern County area about 10 miles north of Bakersfield," Joseph Kinzel, assistant district attorney, said following the arraignment.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Kinzel said investigators from the D.A.'s office traveled to Tulare County to take Carrillo into custody and return her to Kern County.
"They also made sure the court was aware of all the circumstances that led up to the alleged crimes of this case," he said.
Those circumstances were key to Carrillo being held on $2 million bail.
"There is probable cause to go forward with this case," Kinzel said of the crimes that Carrillo allegedly committed in Kern County.
While Kinzel said he would not discuss in detail the facts of the case, he did provide some context.
"What I can say is Ms. Carrillo is alleged to have been involved in, potentially, an incident where her vehicle had been disabled, and there were people that tried to help."
And rather than accepting that help, the allegations are that Carrillo took a vehicle.
At this point, there is no evidence that a gun was used, Kinzel said.
Meanwhile, the Southern California killings are being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, an investigation that overshadows any charges moving forward in Kern.
According to reports by the Los Angeles Times, authorities in Southern California and Tulare County were warned for months about Carrillo's increasingly erratic behavior.
A Tulare County judge issued a court order restricting Carrillo's custody of the children, but to no avail.
Erik Denton, the father of the three siblings — Joanna, 3; Terry, 2; and Sierra, 6 months — joined forces with a cousin, an emergency room physician, to convince authorities that Carrillo should not be alone with the children, the Times reported.
A preliminary hearing for Carrillo is scheduled for May 10 in Kern County Superior Court.