THE FATHER of a 12-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of murder of his two children, who were found decapitated by police.
Maurice Taylor Sr. was arrested and is being held in lieu of a $2 million bail after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested him for the suspected murder of his two kids, who were found stabbed to death in their Lancaster home on Friday.
The LA Sheriff’s Department said the children were found with multiple stab wounds to their bodies.
“One of the adult individuals at the scene was transported to the hospital for trouble breathing,” said Lieutenant Brandon Dean of the Sheriff’s Department.
However, R. Rex Perris, the mayor of Lancaster, said the two children were decapitated.
“It was pretty brutal,” Perris said. “The world has been shredded and we are starting to see the aftermath.”
On Friday morning just after 7:30 AM, Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel were called to a gas leak at Taylor’s home.
When they arrived, they found the two children in separate rooms with “lacerations and stab wounds.”
Both parents were in the home when deputies arrived and were detained without a struggle for questioned. The children’s mom was questioned but not arrested, Dean said.
Also in the home were two other children who appeared to be unharmed, but were taken to a hospital as a precaution while authorities look to place them.
Dean said he does not believe any of the children were previously involved with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and no deputies had been called to their home for complaints about their wellbeing.
“We mourn with the community over this tragic loss,” said the DCFS, which did not state whether it had contact with the family.
Taylor, described as a “mellow” and “reliable” person, was a personal trainer working at a Santa Monica physical therapy and fitness center. Firefighters were called to his home for a gas leak because Taylor’s former and current clients, had trouble contacting him all week.
One client of his, attorney Howard Kern, called the Fire Department after others trained by Taylor had called the Sheriff’s Department saying they had been unable to contact him.
“I said, ‘I’m concerned,” Kern said of the phone call. “‘We are concerned about a possible gas leak. There are four children and two adults, and we are concerned about their safety.'”
“Think of the nicest person that you know, then multiply that by five,” Kern said of Taylor. “He worked so hard to support himself. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough to say what happened or what didn’t happen.”
Another client of Taylor’s said he had been working remotely since the pandemic, and described him as “so reliable, so responsive.” The client sense something was up when Taylor didn’t send out a Zoom link for a scheduled session.
“I knew they weren’t out of town. They didn’t have money to travel,” said the client, who spoke with other clients of Taylor’s who concurred they had been unable to reach Taylor.
“We were afraid of carbon monoxide poisoning, or they were all dead from falling asleep,” she said, adding she and several others called the Sheriff’s Department.
Kern, a client of Taylor’s for over eight years, said Taylor had been living and working on his own since he was 18, and “was living under a tremendous amount of pressure.”
Kern believed Taylor’s marriage was “contentious” given the number of phone calls he received from his wife during their sessions. “It was embarrassing, you could hear her yelling at him,” Kern said. “He’d be very apologetic and she’d be yelling at him.”