RESEDA, LOS ANGELES -- Lilliana Carrillo, the woman accused of killing her three young children in Reseda, was fighting to retain custody of the kids amid allegations about her mental stability - and a court was set to consider the issue only days after the murders occurred, records show.
Carrillo was involved in a custody dispute in Tulare County. The father of the children alleged she was displaying paranoid behavior and postpartum depression that left her out of touch with reality.
She temporarily lost custody of the children to their father - but on March 26 the judge awarded joint custody and set another court date for April 14.
Temporary custody orders and jurisdictional issues were to be discussed at that time, but the children were found stabbed to death in the Reseda apartment on the morning of April 10.
Carrillo remains in the hospital after allegedly carjacking a vehicle later that day in Bakersfield and crashing in the Tulare County mountain community of Ponderosa.
Los Angeles police believe she is the sole suspect in the murder of her three young children, identified by their godmother as three-year-old Joanna, two-year-old Terry, and six-month-old Sierra.
In court documents filed in Tulare County last month, the father of the children says that Carrillo "started showing signs of postpartum depression" after the birth of Terry.
"Her condition has worsened," he writes. "She is not taking care of herself and has lost touch with reality. She is extremely paranoid and acts impulsively and erratically."
He adds that she believes she is responsible for COVID-19 and that there is a pedophile ring in the city of Porterville.
In late February, he says Carrillo took their children away and wouldn't tell him where they were.
He wrote, "I am afraid for my children's wellbeing while they are in (her) care," before asking the court to give him temporary custody and that Carrillo receive a psychiatric evaluation.
The godmother of the children described them as joyful and full of life.
"They were the happiest kids I ever had around in my life and I never thought that we would have to lose them so soon," Gabriela Gomez said.
"They were everything to me and I wanted to spend every minute of the day with them, even after tireless days of work, I just want to be with them," she said.
The LA County District Attorney's Office hasn't filed charges against Carrillo yet, but prosecutors say the case is on their radar.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the children's father.