A man named as a “person of interest” in the slayings of three young children and two adults in Modesto was arrested on Sunday and booked on suspicion of murder, police said.
Officers responded to a home in the 2600 block of Nob Hill Court and found five bodies inside the residence, the Modesto Police Department said on its Facebook page late Saturday afternoon.
Police have not stated why officers were initially sent to the home.
The victims, whose identities have not been released, were first described only as two adults and three children.
Later, the department said on Facebook that the victims were all related, and all females. The girls were between the ages of 6 months old and 6 years old.
A cause of death has yet to be determined.
“It’s devastating, not only to the families of the victims and to the neighbors here as well, (but also) to our law enforcement community,” Modesto police Spokeswoman Heather Graves told CNN. She said a chaplain was providing counseling at the crime scene.
Hours after discovering the bodies, police identified 30-year-old Martin Martinez as a person of interest in the homicides and said they were searching for him.
He was located on Sunday in San Jose and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of murder, police stated on Facebook.
Martinez had a past relationship with one of the victims and was also the biological father of one of the deceased kids, according to police.
A motive for the killings was not immediately known.