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Arrest made in murder of mom, daughters

September 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police say they have arrested and booked an 18-year-old man for murder in connection with the deaths of a mother and her three daughters, whose bodies were all found inside a burning home in Lancaster.As the memorial grows outside the burned Lancaster home, family and friends got a first hand look at the man who has been charged with four counts of murder.

The man, identified as Corey King of Altadena, turned himself in Tuesday. Detectives describe King as a family friend and the last known person in the house late Monday night.

"I am still processing it. I am very numb and shocked still. I can't believe that half of my family is gone still," said Enisha Clark, daughter of the victim.

Enisha and Casondra Clark are mourning the loss of their three younger sisters, Ebony, 14, Melinda, 12, Kayla, 8, and their 42-year-old mother Sonya Durfield. All were found dead in the burning Lancaster home Tuesday morning.

"We were all like glue and the little one's were just like me and her. They did everything together and they went to heaven together," said Enisha.

Officials say each of the victims showed signs of trauma not associated with the fire. The coroner says that all four were killed before the fire was set.

Investigators also found a car that had been taken from the home. It had been abandoned not far from the house.

Family and friends are trying to make sense of the tragedy.

"She was a nice lady, and she had those three little girls who were real nice. To know that this happened to a lady like that, that man deserves everything he is going to get," said family friend, Michelle Duncan.

"One of my sister's just started high school and she was so excited. We were looking forward to birthdays and college," said Enisha.

Firefighters put the fire out in less than 20 minutes Tuesday morning. Once inside they discovered the bodies. They were all found in separate rooms in the house on the 1500 block of East Avenue J-3 in Lancaster.

"I'm not a vengeful person, but I do want justice brought upon him," said Enisha. "It's really hard, like I, even if he did it wouldn't, it wouldn't bring them back."

Early Wednesday morning Enisha and her sister Casondra went through the burned remains of their mother's home. They say King was a friend of their brother, and even though their brother doesn't live at home King would visit.

Casondra says she saw King at the house before she left Monday.

"I left my mom's at 9:30, and he was here," said Casondra.

The sisters say they never imagined something horrible was about to take place upon leaving their mother's home.

Corey King is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He is expected to be in court on Friday.

A makeshift memorial has been placed in the front yard of the torched house. Family members say a candlelight vigil will be held outside the house Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

 

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