Colton police on Monday are searching for a woman with a violent past who allegedly stabbed her two grandchildren, one of them fatally, and her daughter.
The suspect, identified as 43-year-old Nicole Darrington-Clark, was released from state custody in 2010 after stabbing her son and pushing her daughter out of a moving vehicle in 2005, police said.
Monday's incident was reported about 9:10 a.m., when dispatchers received a call from a woman saying she had been stabbed by her mother, who had also stabbed her two children, according to Cpl. Ray Mendez of the Colton Police Department.
Officers found the three stabbing victims at an apartment in a complex in the 1400 block of East Santo Antonio Drive.
One of the grandchildren died, while the other two victims were last reported to be in critical condition, according to Mendez. The child who was fatally stabbed was identified only as an 18-month-old girl; police initially said she was 6 months old.
The names of the victims were not provided, but a neighbor said the toddler was named Damani and the older sibling is a 5-year-old named Arleya. The mother, the neighbor said, is named Glorious.
The suspect goes by Nicole Darrington or Nicole Clark, Mendez said.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder but the court ruled her insane in the 2005 incident, according to a 2007 San Gabriel Valley Tribune article that reported she was expected to remain in a mental institution.
In the stabbing of her 14-year-old son at an Inglewood motel and for throwing her 10-year-old daughter out of a moving minivan on the 10 Freeway in West Covina, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity, the newspaper reported.
Police told KTLA on Monday that Darrington-Clark was released in 2010. It's not clear why she was released.
The neighbor who provided the names of the victims recounted Darrington-Clark coming out of the Colton apartment with a bloody knife on Monday morning.
Tim Hill, who lives downstairs from the victims' second-floor apartment, said he heard a scream then saw a woman in her early 20s stumble out of the unit and run down the stairs. The woman was covered in blood and had stab wounds near her eye and on her upper body, Hill said.
"She goes, 'Go, go, get my kids,'" Hill said. "'She's going to kill my babies.'"
Hill said he gave her his cellphone so she could call 911.
Then the victim's mother descended the stairs, bloody knife in hand, Hill said. He pushed the older woman away and she jumped into a car and drove away.
Hill said he went into the apartment and found the younger child face down on the sofa, stab wounds in her back. The older girl was discovered hiding in the closet, the neighbor said.
The youngest victim was declared dead on scene, and the other two victims were all rushed to the hospital with multiple stab wounds, according to a police news release.
Hill had just seen the family at the pool the previous day, with the grandmother watching the older grandchild, he said.
"Everything seemed normal," Hill said. "It's so shocking."
A motive for the stabbing was not immediately known. In the 2005 case, a motive was also not known, but the suspect had a history of mental and emotional problems, a prosecutor told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The suspect remains at large, and police are looking for a black 2013 Hyundai Sonata, with a California license plate No. of 7TQL009, according to Mendez.
Darrington-Clark is described as an African-American woman, 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 200 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes. Anyone who sees the suspect or her car should call 911 and stay away from her, Mendez said.
She should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call Colton police at 909-370-5000.
KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this story.