UPDATE: Around 6:26 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, detectives arrested 34-year-old Maurice Taylor Sr. for the murder of his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, authorities announced. Taylor was booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station and is being held on $2 million bail.
UPDATE: The deceased have been identified as 13-year-old Malaka Taylor and 12-year-old Maurice Taylor Jr., both of Lancaster, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
LANCASTER – A male and female, believed to be in their teens, died Friday at a residence in Lancaster – possibly of stab wounds – and homicide detectives are interviewing four people who were in the residence at the time, authorities said.
The deaths were discovered around 7:51 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4, when Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics responded to the 45000 Block of Century Circle “regarding a possible gas leak at the location,” according to Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.
Upon discovering the two bodies, the paramedics exited the location and called the sheriff’s department, Dean said.
“LA County Sheriff’s deputies responded out to the location and saw that there were two individuals inside, both very young, possibly in their teenage years, deceased,” Lt. Dean told reporters at the scene. “One appears to be a male, one appears to be a female, possibly suffering from some type of a sharp trauma, either stabbing or slicing device.”
Dean continued: “Our deputies are currently questioning four individuals that were also inside the location, two of them appearing to be children and two of them appearing to be adults.”
Dean said one of the adults was transported to a local hospital “just for difficulty breathing.” He said detectives are still investigating, but do not believe the pair died as a result of a natural gas leak.
“Again, we’re just trying to exactly figure out the cause of death of the two decedents inside, and the relationship between the four other individuals that were inside the location,” Dean said.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Los Angeles Times that the two victims were decapitated, but the sheriff’s department has not confirmed this information. The victims names have not yet been released.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.