Dozens gathered at a vigil Wednesday night honoring three sisters under the age of 3 who were allegedly killed by their mother at the family’s home in an unincorporated area bordering Carson.
Grief-stricken friends and relatives lit candles for the children and sang songs still trying to comprehend the horror that ended their young lives.
“It’s hard … really hard,” said aunt Delia Hernandez. “Can you only imagine … three little girls.”
Deputies found the children lying in a pool of blood at the home in the 1000 block of West 223rd Street (map) when they were called to the scene at about 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday.
Carol Coronado, the 30-year-old mother of the girls, was allegedly found near her children, naked and holding a knife. She was immediately detained by deputies with the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department, which polices the unincorporated area east of Torrance.
The three children were pronounced dead at the scene.
Their godfather, John Carrion, said Wednesday afternoon that the girls were named Sophia, who was almost 3, Yazmine, who was 1, and Xenia, who was 2 months old.
“Pray for my babies,” Carrion said. “Pray for my babies even though they are all in heaven.”
Carrion said the children’s father, Rudy Coronado, doesn’t blame his wife he blames the “demons inside her.”
Neighbor Ashley Madrid said Rudy Coronado was inconsolable after he learning what happened to his little girls.
“He came out screaming … dropped to his knees in the street,” Madrid said.
Authorities had initially said Tuesday that the girls’ ages ranged approximately from 3 years to 2 months. On Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said the girls were 2 1/2, 16 months and 2 months old. No names were released by authorities.
As coroner’s officials removed the bodies, neighbors said there were no signs of trouble from the family prior to the gruesome discovery.
“They were a nice family. We’ve been living here for almost four years now and didn’t see anything. They’re very good people,” said one neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.
Another neighbor, Robert Marino, was at the home on Monday and said that Coronado was “great with the girls,” adding that “he didn’t see anything wrong.”
Coronado was anxious to get back to work following the recent birth of her youngest daughter, Marino said.
The girls’ bodies were first discovered by their grandmother, who stopped by to visit after receiving a strange call from her daughter earlier in the day.
Detectives recovered several knives at the home as well as hammer which they were trying to determine if it was also used in the killings.
Coronado remained hospitalized Wednesday and was being treated for superficial self-inflicted stab wounds, according to sheriff’s officials.
She was expected to be booked on suspicion of murder once she was released from the hospital.
Authorities had not identified a motive for the killings.
An account has been set up to help pay for the girl’s burial expenses. Click here to donate.
KTLA’s Anthony Kurzweil, Christina Pascucci, Kennedy Ryan, Sara Welch, Mary Beth McDade and Melissa Pamer contributed to this report.