Man charged with murders of girlfriend, missing sons

BREA, Calif.

The Orange County District Attorney filed three counts of special-circumstance murder for committing multiple murders. The special circumstances makes Shazer Fernando Limas eligible for the death penalty.

The bodies of the boys have not yet been found. Over the weekend, investigators searched a Brea landfill, but the search was canceled on Monday because investigators were not able to find the appropriate search dogs that they needed to sift through tons of garbage and debris. They plan to resume the search on Tuesday morning.

Detectives believe the boys were murdered by their 31-year-old father, who was arrested on May 3 after leading police on a pursuit that started in the city of Santa Ana. He stopped and surrendered at the San Clemente Border Patrol checkpoint.

The body of Limas' girlfriend, 31-year-old Arlet Hernandez Contreras, was found wrapped in tarp in the gutter in La Puente on April 25. At first, the body was unidentified, but after Limas' arrest, detectives called several coroner offices and found that an unidentified female body at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office was Contreras. Coroner's officials said the cause of death appeared to be from stab wounds.

The district attorney's office believes Limas killed his family at their apartment in the city of Orange on April 14, and then the next day, he was treated for a cut to his hand at Long Beach Memorial Hospital. A few days later, prosecutors claim Limas went to a home improvement store and bought several items, including a tarp. At the end of April, he also vacated his apartment.

The couple's two boys - 2-year-old Fernando and 4-month-old Emmanuel - are believed to be dead, but Limas has refused to give information about his sons.

Investigators are searching the landfill because blood leading to the trash chute was found in Limas' apartment.

Limas is being held without bail. He appeared in court on Monday afternoon, but his arraignment was continued to May 23. The district attorney will decide at a later date whether to pursue the death penalty in this case.

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