Reseda mom who allegedly drowned 3 young children pleads insanity

A Reseda mother who allegedly admitted to drowning her three young children in 2021 pled not guilty by reason of insanity on Friday, Oct. 6 to the triple murder charges.

Liliana Carrillo was arrested in connection with the killings of her 3-year-old daughter Joanna, 2-year-old son Terry and 5-month-old daughter Sierra in April 2021.

Prior to her arrest, the 32-year-old mother fled the apartment after allegedly killing the children, which led to a manhunt across Bakersfield and Los Angeles County. She was eventually arrested in Tulare County after she crashed her car and attempted to carjack another person.

Carrillo has been behind bars since her arrest, and was ordered to stand trial in August of this year.

The children's bodies were discovered by their grandmother in Carrillo's one-bedroom apartment, according to authorities. Kim Lormans, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, testified that the children were found dead "in a row" on the bed.

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All three children were drowned, but Carrillo's youngest daughter Sierra also suffered a stab wound to the chest, which struck her left lung, according to officials.

"There was blood everywhere," said Lormans.

Carrillo allegedly said that she hugged and kissed her children and apologized to them, according to officials.

Carrillo shared custody with the children's father, Eric Denton. Prior to the killings, court records showed family members were worried that Carrillo was suffering from mental health issues, which led Denton to request a mental evaluation for her in March 2021.

Previous reports note that Carrillo said she allegedly drowned the children to save them from abuse and sexual assault at the hands of others.

Lormans said that Carrillo allegedly attempted to kill herself following the murders, but that it "didn't work."

Denton filed a civil lawsuit last year against the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, alleging that LAPD was negligent, did not take seriously the indications that Carrillo's mental health was declining and did not share information they had with county social workers.

"I know that I'm going to be in jail for the rest of my life," said Carrillo in an interview after her arrest, "It's something I've come to terms with."

City News Service contributed to this report.