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Missing person case turns into triple murder; man arrested for deaths of ex, 2 kids

May 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
What began as a missing person case turned into a triple-murder investigation after police spoke with their primary suspect.

When police tried to question Shazer Limas, the 31-year-old drove off, initiating a police pursuit. Limas surrendered after a 45-minute standoff that ended on Interstate 5.

Police said they now know why he was on the run after a grim discovery in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend and two young children, a 4-month-old boy and a 2-year-old boy.

Richard Lee, a carpet installer at the apartment complex, said there was a large amount of blood on and under the carpet. Lee was called in to change the carpet at the unit, which is standard procedure when someone moves out.

"He tried to cover it up, but as I cut into it, you can totally see how much blood there was. You couldn't really notice until you started cutting into it. So once we started cutting into it, we noticed all the blood," said Lee.

Police questioned Limas overnight about the blood and the whereabouts of Arlet Hernandez and their two sons. Early Friday morning, authorities determined the missing persons' case was in fact a triple murder.

"Based on the totality of our investigation, the evidence we collected and after speaking with the suspect, we are confident that he is our suspect and he will be booked into Orange County Jail for three counts of murder," said Orange Police Sgt. Dan Adams.

Cadaver dogs spent Friday morning searching the Brea Landfill for the victims, but nothing came up. Police say the search for the bodies is wide open.

Police say they believe Hernandez and the children were killed before April 28, the day Limas moved out of the apartment.

In March, Hernandez filed a paternity suit against Limas, but police do not know if that played a role in the crime.

Meanwhile at the apartment complex, residents are coming to grips with the grim crime authorities say occurred there. Neighbors said they did see Limas around the complex but nobody reported hearing anything unusual coming from the apartment. Neighbors said they rarely saw Hernandez or the children.

Aside from the blood, Richard Lee said there was no other sign of trouble in the apartment.

"Everything was moved out, so you really couldn't notice much, but I did notice there was quite a bit of blood on the baseboards and stuff like that he couldn't probably cover up. It was just too much," Lee said.

Myra Contreras, Hernandez's mother, says her daughter was a good person who loved her family. She also believes Limas is the person behind her daughter's disappearance.

She said she also tried calling her daughter in recent weeks, but she never heard back. She said instead, she received short, cold and unfeeling text messages that she doesn't believe came from her daughter.

The motive for the murders remain under investigation and authorities are still searching for the victims' bodies. Anyone with information related to the case should contact Orange Police at (714) 744-7444.

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